Foot/Leg idioms: 23 useful Foot/Leg idioms

A linguistic journey as we unravel the hidden meanings behind Foot/Leg idioms. From “getting a leg up” to “shooting oneself in the foot,” discover the captivating world of idiomatic expressions that involve our lower extremities.

Foot/Leg idioms: Image featuring various feet and legs intertwined.
Exploring the Expressive Power of Foot/Leg Idioms.

List of Foot/Leg idioms

  • Put your foot in your mouth
  • Pull someone’s leg
  • Have a leg up
  • Put your best foot forward
  • Shoot yourself in the foot
  • Get a leg up on someone
  • Stand on your own two feet
  • Sweep someone off their feet
  • Feet of clay
  • Get cold feet
  • Have itchy feet
  • Feet on the ground
  • Achilles’ heel
  • Foot in the door
  • Legwork
  • On one’s feet
  • One step at a time
  • Jump the gun
  • Drag one’s feet
  • Take a step back
  • Put one’s foot down
  • Have two left feet
  • Kick the bucket

Foot/Leg idioms: list of Foot/Leg idioms with meaning and Examples

Put your foot in your mouth

Meaning: Say something that is embarrassing or inappropriate


  • I really put my foot in my mouth when I told my boss I thought her new haircut looked terrible.
  • He put his foot in his mouth when he made a joke that offended his colleague.


Pull someone’s leg

Meaning: Tease or joke with someone


  • I’m just pulling your leg, I know you’re not really going to quit your job.
  • I thought he was serious, but he was just pulling my leg about being a famous movie star.
  • She enjoys pulling her brother’s leg by pretending to be a ghost and scaring him.


Have a leg up

Meaning: Have an advantage or head start


  • The athlete who trains harder has a leg up on the competition.
  • The experienced salesperson has a leg up when it comes to closing deals.


Put your best foot forward

Meaning: Make a good impression or try your hardest


  • I’m nervous about the job interview, but I’m going to put my best foot forward and try my hardest.
  • The singer wanted to impress the judges, so she put her best foot forward and sang her heart out.


Shoot yourself in the foot

Meaning: Do something that causes harm or damage to oneself


  • He shot himself in the foot by quitting his job without another one lined up.
  • The company shot itself in the foot by raising prices too high and losing customers.


Get a leg up on someone

Meaning: Gain an advantage over someone


  • By studying for the exam in advance, I was able to get a leg up on my classmates.
  • The company’s new marketing strategy helped them get a leg up on their competitors.


Stand on your own two feet

Meaning: To be independent and self-sufficient


  • It’s important for teenagers to learn how to stand on their own two feet and take responsibility for their actions.
  • The new employee was eager to stand on his own two feet and prove his worth to the company.


Sweep someone off their feet

Meaning: Impress or charm someone


  • The romantic gesture of sending her flowers and chocolates swept her off her feet and made her fall in love with him.
  • The talented musician’s performance swept the audience off their feet and earned a standing ovation.


Feet of clay

Meaning: Have a weakness or flaw that is hidden or not well-known


  • Despite his success, the celebrity had feet of clay and struggled with addiction.
  • The business owner appeared successful, but he had feet of clay and was struggling to keep his company afloat.


Get cold feet

Meaning: Become nervous or hesitant about something that was planned or agreed upon


  • The groom got cold feet and called off the wedding at the last minute.
  • The entrepreneur got cold feet about investing in the new venture and backed out.
  • The athlete got cold feet before the big game and didn’t perform as well as expected.


Have itchy feet

Meaning: Have a strong desire to travel or move from place to place


  • The young couple had itchy feet and moved to a new city every year.
  • The retiree had itchy feet and enjoyed taking road trips and exploring new places.


Feet on the ground

Meaning: To be practical and realistic


  • Despite her dreams of becoming a famous actress, she always had her feet on the ground and had a backup plan in case things didn’t work out.
  • The successful businessman always had his feet on the ground and made calculated risks rather than jumping into new ventures blindly.


Achilles’ heel

Meaning: A weakness or vulnerability that can lead to downfall


  • His temper was his Achilles’ heel and caused him to lose many friendships and job opportunities.
  • The team’s defense was their Achilles’ heel and caused them to lose many important games.


Foot in the door

Meaning: A small opportunity that can lead to bigger ones


  • The internship provided her with a foot in the door at the company and eventually led to a full-time job offer.
  • The small freelance project was his foot in the door with the publishing company and eventually led to a book deal.
  • The entry-level position was his foot in the door to the industry and eventually led to a higher-level job.



Meaning: The physical effort or legwork required to accomplish a task


  • The reporter had to do a lot of legwork to gather information for the story.
  • The athlete’s success was due in part to the legwork he did in training and practicing.


On one’s feet

Meaning: Standing or walking


  • After hours of sitting in the car, my legs were stiff and I couldn’t wait to get back on my feet.
  • The nurse was on her feet for hours during her shift at the hospital.
  • The performer was on his feet for the entire concert, entertaining the audience.


One step at a time

Meaning: Proceed slowly and carefully


  • The project was overwhelming, so she decided to take it one step at a time and focus on completing one task before moving on to the next.
  • The student was struggling with a difficult assignment, so the teacher advised him to take it one step at a time and break it down into smaller parts.


Jump the gun

Meaning: Start or act too soon, before the appropriate time


  • The company jumped the gun by announcing the product launch before it was ready, causing confusion among customers.
  • The athlete jumped the gun and started running before the starting signal, leading to a false start.


Drag one’s feet

Meaning: Delay or avoid doing something, often out of reluctance or lack of enthusiasm


  • The employee kept dragging his feet on the project, causing delays and frustration among the team.
  • The student kept dragging her feet on studying for the test, procrastinating until the last minute.


Take a step back

Meaning: Pause and reassess a situation or approach


  • The manager realized the project was getting off track and needed to take a step back to reevaluate the plan.
  • The artist hit a creative block and decided to take a step back from the project to gain a fresh perspective.


Put one’s foot down

Meaning: Assert oneself firmly and refuse to back down


  • The parent put her foot down and refused to let her child attend the party without adult supervision.
  • The employee put his foot down and told his boss that he couldn’t work overtime every day without fair compensation.


Have two left feet

Meaning: Clumsy or awkward, especially in dancing or sports


  • I tried to learn salsa dancing, but I have two left feet and kept tripping over myself.
  • The new recruit was excited to play soccer with the team, but he had two left feet and kept missing the ball.


Kick the bucket

Meaning: To die


  • The old man finally kicked the bucket after a long and fulfilling life.
  • The family was devastated when their beloved pet dog kicked the bucket unexpectedly.
  • The notorious criminal was on the run for years before finally getting caught and kicking the bucket in prison.


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