An idiom is a phrase or expression that typically presents a figurative, non-literal meaning attached to the phrase; but some phrases become figurative idioms while retaining the literal meaning of the phrase.
Here are the list of idioms starting with G.
Idioms Starting with G
1. Game on
Meaning: When someone says ‘Game on!’, it means that they are accepting a challenge or ready to get something done.
2. Game plan
Meaning: A game plan is a strategy.
3. Garbage fee
Meaning: A garbage fee is a charge that has no value and doesn’t provide any real service.
4. Garbage in, garbage out
Meaning: If a computer system or database is built badly, then the results will be bad.
5. Gardening leave
Meaning: If someone is paid for a period when they are not working, either after they have given in their notice or when they are being investigated, they are on gardening leave.
6. Gather pace
Meaning: If events gather pace, they move faster.
7. Gather steam
Meaning: If something gathers speed, it moves or progresses at an increasing speed.
8. Get a grip
Meaning: If you get a grip, you control your emotions so that they don’t overwhelm you.
9. Get a handle on
Meaning: When you get a handle on something, you come to understand it.
10. Get a sheepskin
Meaning: Getting a sheepskin (or your sheepskin) means getting a degree or diploma. (Sheepskin refers to the parchment that a degree is printed on- parchment comes from sheepskin.)
11. Get along famously
Meaning: If people get along famously, they have an exceedingly good relationship.
12. Get away scot-free
Meaning: If someone gets away scot-free, they are not punished when they have done something wrong. (‘Get off scot-free’ is an alternative.)
13. Get away with murder
Meaning: If you get away with murder, you do something bad and don’t get caught or punished.(‘Get away with blue murder’ is also used.)
14. Get back on the horse that bucked you
Meaning: When you start drinking again after being hungover from drinking the previous night.
15. Get in on the act
Meaning: If people want to get in on the act, they want to participate in something that is currently profitable or popular.
16. Get in on the ground floor
Meaning: If you get in on the ground floor, you enter a project or venture at the start before people know how successful it might be.
17. Get it in the neck
Meaning: If you get it in the neck, you are punished or criticized for something.
18. Get it off your chest
Meaning: If you get something off your chest, you confess to something that has been troubling you.
19. Get my drift
Meaning: If you get someone’s drift, you understand what they are trying to say. (‘Catch their drift’ is an alternative form.)
20. Get off the ground
Meaning: If a project or plan gets off the ground, it starts to be put into operation.
21. Get on like a house on fire
Meaning: If people get on like a house on fire, they have a very close and good relationship.
22. Get on your nerves
Meaning: If something gets on your nerves, it annoys or irritates you.
23. Get on your soapbox
Meaning: If someone on their soapbox, they hold forth (talk a lot) about a subject they feel strongly about.
24. Get out of bed on the wrong side
Meaning: If you get out of bed on the wrong side, you wake up and start the day in a bad mood for no real reason.
25. Get the axe
Meaning: If you get the axe, you lose your job. (‘Get the ax’ is the American spelling.)
26. Get the ball rolling
Meaning: If you get the ball rolling, you start something so that it can start making progress.
27. Get the green light
Meaning: If you get the green light to do something, you are given the necessary permission, authorization.
28. Get the monkey off your back
Meaning: If you get the monkey off your back, you pass on a problem to someone else.
29. Get the nod
Meaning: If you get the nod to something, you get approval or permission to do it.
30. Get the picture
Meaning: If you get the picture, you understand a situation fully.
31. Get the show on the road
Meaning: If you get the show on the road, you put a plan into operation or begin something.
32. Get to grips
Meaning: If you get to grips with something, you take control and do it properly.
33. Get up and go
Meaning: If someone has lots of get up and go, they have lots of enthusiasm and energy.
34. Get wind of
Meaning: If you get wind of something, you hear or learn about it, especially if it was meant to be secret.
35. Get your ducks in a row
Meaning: If you get your ducks in a row, you organize yourself and your life.
36. Get your feathers in a bunch
Meaning: If you get your feathers in a bunch, you get upset or angry about something.
37. Get your feet wet
Meaning: If you get your feet wet, you gain your first experience of something.
38. Get your goat
Meaning: If something gets your goat, it annoys you.
39. Get your hands dirty
Meaning: If you get your hands dirty, you become involved in something where the realities might compromise your principles. It can also mean that a person is not just stuck in an ivory tower dictating strategy, but is prepared to put in the effort and hard work to make the details actually happen.
40. Get your head around something
Meaning: If you get your head around something, you come to understand it even though it is difficult to comprehend.
41. Get your teeth into
Meaning: If you get your teeth into something, you become involved in or do something that is intellectually challenging or satisfying. (‘Dig you teeth into’ and ‘sink your teeth into’ are also used.)
42. Get your wires crossed
Meaning: If people get their wires cross, they misunderstand each other, especially when making arrangements. (‘Get your lines crossed’ is also used.)
43. Ghost of a chance
Meaning: If something or someone hasn’t got a ghost of a chance, they have no hope whatsoever of succeeding.
44. Ghostly presence
Meaning: You can feel or otherwise sense a ghostly presence, but you cannot do it clearly only vaguely.
45. Gift of the gab
Meaning: If someone has the gift of the gab, they speak in a persuasive and interesting way.
46. Gild the lily
Meaning: If you gild the lily, you decorate something that is already ornate.
47. Gilded cage
Meaning: If someone is in a gilded cage, they are trapped and have restricted or no freedom, but have very comfortable surroundings- many famous people live in luxury but cannot walk out of their house alone.
48. Girl Friday
Meaning: A girl Friday is a female employee who assists someone without any specific duties.
49. Give a big hand
Meaning: Applaud by clapping hands. ‘Let’s give all the contestants a big hand.’
50. Give a dog a bad name
Meaning: A person who is generally known to have been guilty of some offense will always be suspected to be the author of all similar types of offense. Once someone has gained a bad reputation, it is very difficult to lose it.
51. Give and take
Meaning: Where there is give and take, people make concessions in order to get things they want in negotiations.
52. Give as good as you get
Meaning: If you give as good as you get, you are prepared to treat people as badly as they treat you and to fight for what you believe.
53. Give it some stick
Meaning: If you give something some stick, you put a lot of effort into it.
54. Give me a hand
Meaning: If someone gives you a hand, they help you.
55. Give me five
Meaning: If someone says this, they want to hit your open hand against theirs as a way of congratulation or greeting.
56. Give someone a leg up
Meaning: If you give someone a leg up, you help them to achieve something that they couldn’t have done alone.
57. Give someone a piece of your mind
Meaning: If you give someone a piece of your mind, you criticize them strongly and angrily.
58. Give someone a run for their money
Meaning: If you can give someone a run for the money, you are as good, or nearly as good, as they are at something.
59. Give someone enough rope
Meaning: If you give someone enough rope, you give them the chance to get themselves into trouble or expose themselves. (The full form is ‘give someone enough rope and they’ll hang themselves)
60. Give someone stick
Meaning: If someone gives you stick, they criticize you or punish you.
61. Give someone the runaround
Meaning: If someone gives you the runaround, they make excuses and give you false explanations to avoid doing something.
62. Give the nod
Meaning: If you give the nod to something, you approve it or give permission to do it.
63. Give up the ghost
Meaning: People give up the ghost when they die. Machines stop working when they give up the ghost.
64. Give your eye teeth
Meaning: If you really want something and would be prepared to sacrifice a lot to get it, you would give your eye teeth for it.
65. Given the day that’s in it
Meaning: This idiom is used when something is obvious because of the day that it occurs: traffic, for example would be busy around a football stadium on game day, given the day that’s in it. On any other day the traffic would be unexplained, but because its game day its obvious why there is traffic.
66. Glass ceiling
Meaning: The glass ceiling is the discrimination that prevents women and minorities from getting promoted to the highest levels of companies and organizations.
67. Glory hound
Meaning: A glory hound is a person seeking popularity, fame and glory.
68. Gloves are off
Meaning: When the gloves are off, people start to argue or fight in a more serious way. (‘The gloves come off’ and ‘take the gloves off’ are also used. It comes from boxing, where fighters normally wear gloves so that they don’t do too much damage to each other.)
69. Glutton for punishment
Meaning: If a person is described as a glutton for punishment, the happily accept jobs and tasks that most people would try to get out of. A glutton is a person who eats a lot.
70. Gnaw your vitals
Meaning: If something gnaws your vitals, it troubles you greatly and affects you at a very deep level. (‘Gnaw at your vitals’ is also used.)
71. Go against the grain
Meaning: A person who does things in an unconventional manner, especially if their methods are not generally approved of, is said to go against the grain. Such an individual can be called a maverick.
72. Go awry
Meaning: If things go awry, they go wrong.
73. Go bananas
Meaning: If you go bananas, you are wild with excitement, anxiety, or worry.
74. Go blue
Meaning: If you go blue, you are very cold indeed. (‘Turn blue’ is an alternative form.)
75. Go bust
Meaning: If a company goes bust, it goes bankrupt.
76. Go by the board
Meaning: When something has gone by the board, it no longer exists or an opportunity has been lost.
77. Go by the boards
Meaning: If something goes by the boards, it fails to get approved or accepted.
78. Go down like a cup of cold sick
Meaning: An idea or excuse that will not be well accepted will go down like a cup of cold sick.
79. Go down like a lead balloon
Meaning: If something goes down like a lead balloon, it fails or is extremely badly received.
80. Go down swinging
Meaning: If you want to go down swinging, you know you will probably fail, but you refuse to give up.
81. Go down without a fight
Meaning: If someone goes down without a fight, they surrender without putting up any resistance.
82. Go Dutch
Meaning: If you go Dutch in a restaurant, you pay equal shares for the meal.
83. Go fly a kite
Meaning: This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
84. Go for broke
Meaning: If someone goes for broke, they risk everything they have for a potentially greater gain.
85. Go for the jugular
Meaning: If you go for the jugular, you attack someone where they are most vulnerable.
86. Go fry an egg
Meaning: This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
87. Go hand in hand
Meaning: If things go hand in hand, they are associated and go together.
88. Go nuts
Meaning: If someone goes nuts, they get excited over something.
89. Go off on a tangent
Meaning: If someone goes off on a tangent, they change the subject completely in the middle of a conversation or talk.
90. Go over like a lead balloon
Meaning: If something goes over like a lead balloon, it will not work well, or go over well.
91. Go overboard
Meaning: If you go overboard, you do something excessively.
92. Go pear-shaped
Meaning: If things have gone wrong, they have gone pear-shaped.
93. Go play in traffic
Meaning: This is used as a way of telling someone to go away.
94. Go round in circles
Meaning: If people are going round in circles, they keep discussing the same thing without reaching any agreement or coming to a conclusion.
95. Go south
Meaning: If things go south, they get worse or go wrong.
96. Go spare
Meaning: If you go spare, you lose your temper completely.
97. Go tell it to birds
Meaning: This is used when someone says something that is not credible or is a lie.
98. Go the distance
Meaning: If you go the distance, you continue until something ends, no matter how difficult.
99. Go the extra mile
Meaning: If someone is prepared to go the extra mile, they will do everything they can to help or to make something succeed, going beyond their duty what could be expected of them.
100. Go the whole hog
Meaning: If you go the whole hog, you do something completely or to its limits.
101. Go through the motions
Meaning: When you go through the motions, you do something like an everyday routine and without any feelings whatsoever.
102. Go to seed
Meaning: If someone has gone to seed, they have declined in quality or appearance.
103. Go to the wire
Meaning: If someone goes to the wire, they risk their life, job, reputation, etc, to help someone.
104. Go to your head
Meaning: If something goes to your head, it makes you feel vain. If alcohol goes to your head, it makes you feel drunk quickly.
105. Go under the hammer
Meaning: If something goes under the hammer, it is sold in an auction.
106. Go west
Meaning: If something goes west, it goes wrong. If someone goes west, they die.
107. Go with the flow
Meaning: If you go with the flow, you accept things as they happen and do what everyone else wants to do.
108. Go-to guy
Meaning: A go-to guy is a person whose knowledge of something is considerable so everyone wants to go to him or her for information or results.
109. Going concern
Meaning: A successful and active business is a going concern.
110. Going Jesse
Meaning: If something is a going Jesse, it’s a viable, successful project or enterprise.
111. Going overboard
Meaning: If you go overboard with something, then you take something too far, or do too much.
112. Golden handshake
Meaning: A golden handshake is a payment made to someone to get them to leave their job.
113. Golden rule
Meaning: The golden rule is the most essential or fundamental rule associated with something. Originally, it was not a general reference to an all purpose first rule applicable to many groups or protocols, but referred to a verse in the Bible about treating people they way you would want them to treat you, which was considered the First Rule of behavior towards all by all.
114. Golden touch
Meaning: Someone with a golden touch can make money from or be successful at anything they do.
115. Gone fishing
Meaning: If someone has gone fishing, they are not very aware of what is happening around them.
116. Gone for a Burton
Meaning: If something’s gone for a Burton, it has been spoiled or ruined. If a person has gone for a Burton, they are either in serious trouble or have died.
117. Gone pear-shaped
Meaning: If things have gone pear-shaped they have either gone wrong or produced an unexpected and unwanted result.
118. Gone to pot
Meaning: If something has gone to pot, it has gone wrong and doesn’t work any more.
119. Gone to the dogs
Meaning: If something has gone to the dogs, it has gone badly wrong and lost all the good things it had.
120. Good antennae
Meaning: Someone with good antennae is good at detecting things.
121. Good as gold
Meaning: If children are as good as gold, they behave very well.
122. Good egg
Meaning: A person who can be relied on is a good egg. Bad egg is the opposite.
123. Good fences make good neighbors
Meaning: This means that it is better for people to mind their own business and to respect the privacy of others. (‘Good fences make good neighbors’ is the American English spelling.)
124. Good hand
Meaning: If you are a good hand at something, you do it well.
125. Good Samaritan
Meaning: A good Samaritan is a person who helps others in need.
126. Good shape
Meaning: If something’s in good shape, it’s in good condition. If a person’s in good shape, they are fit and healthy.
127. Good spell
Meaning: A spell can mean a fairly or relatively short period of time; you’ll hear weather forecasts predict a dry spell. Sports commentators will say that a sportsperson is going through a good spell when they’re performing consistently better than they normally do.
128. Good time
Meaning: If you make good time on a journey, you manage to travel faster than you expected.
129. Good to go
Meaning: Someone or something that meets one’s approval. ‘He is good to go.’ ‘The idea you had is good to go.’
130. Good walls make good neighbors
Meaning: Your relationship with your neighbors depends, among other things, on respecting one another’s privacy.
131. Goody two-shoes
Meaning: A goody two-shoes is a self-righteous person who makes a great deal of their virtue.
132. Grab the bulls by its horns
Meaning: If you grab (take) the bull by its horns, you deal head-on and directly with a problem.
133. Grain of salt
Meaning: If you should take something with a grain of salt, you shouldn’t necessarily believe it all. (‘pinch of salt’ is an alternative)
134. Grasp the nettle
Meaning: If you grasp the nettle, you deal bravely with a problem.
135. Grass may be greener on the other side but it’s just as hard to mow
Meaning: ‘The grass may be greener on the other side but it’s just as hard to mow’ is an expression used to mean a person’s desire to have that which another person has in the belief it will make their life easieris false as all situations come with their own set of problems.
136. Grass roots
Meaning: This idioms is often used in politics, where it refers to the ordinary people or voters. It can be used to mean people at the bottom of a hierarchy.
137. Grass widow
Meaning: A grass widow is a woman whose husband is often away on work, leaving her on her own.
138. Graveyard shift
Meaning: If you have to work very late at night, it is the graveyard shift.
139. Gravy train
Meaning: If someone is on the gravy train, they have found and easy way to make lots of money.
140. Grease monkey
Meaning: A grease monkey is an idiomatic term for a mechanic.
141. Grease someone’s palm
Meaning: If you grease someone’s palm, you bribe them to do something.
142. Grease the skids
Meaning: If you grease the skids, you facilitate something.
143. Greased lightning
Meaning: If something or someone moves like greased lightning, they move very fast indeed.
144. Great guns
Meaning: If something or someone is going great guns, they are doing very well.
145. Great Scott
Meaning: An exclamation of surprise.
146. Great unwashed
Meaning: This is a term used for the working class masses.
147. Great white hope
Meaning: Someone who is expected to be a great success is a great white hope.
148. Greek to me
Meaning: If you don’t understand something, it’s all Greek to you.
149. Green around the gills
Meaning: If someone looks green around the gills, they look ill.
150. Green fingers
Meaning: Someone with green fingers has a talent for gardening.
151. Green light
Meaning: If you are given the green light, you are given approval to do something.
152. Green thumb
Meaning: Someone with a talent for gardening has a green thumb.
153. Green with envy
Meaning: If you are green with envy, you are very jealous.
154. Green-eyed monster
Meaning: The green-eyed monster is an allegorical phrase for somebody’s strong jealousy.
Meaning: A greenhorn or someone who is described simply as green lacks the relevant experience and knowledge for their job or task.
156. Grey area
Meaning: A grey/gray area is one where there is no clear right or wrong.
157. Grey Cardinal
Meaning: Someone who is a Grey Cardinal exerts power behind the scenes, without drawing attention to himself or herself.
158. Grey cells
Meaning: ‘Grey cells’ means ‘brain’ Eg: Use your grey cells to understand it
159. Grey matter
Meaning: Grey/gray matter is the human brain.
160. Grey pound
Meaning: In the UK, the grey pound is an idiom for the economic power of elderly people.
161. Grey suits
Meaning: The men in grey suits are people who have a lot of power in business or politics, but aren’t well-known or charismatic.
162. Grin and bear it
Meaning: If you have to grin and bear it, you have to accept something that you don’t like.
163. Grin like a Cheshire cat
Meaning: If someone has a very wide smile, they have a grin like a Cheshire cat.
164. Grinds my gear
Meaning: Something that is very annoying grinds your gear.
165. Grist for the mill
Meaning: Something that you can use to your advantage is grist for the mill. (‘Grist to the mill’ is also used.)
Meaning: If you are a guinea-pig, you take part in an experiment of some sort and are used in the testing.
167. Gunboat diplomacy
Meaning: If a nation conducts its diplomatic relations by threatening military action to get what it wants, it is using gunboat diplomacy.
168. Gung ho
Meaning: If someone is gung ho about something, they support it blindly and don’t think about the consequences.
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