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.
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
- 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.
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.