What is skin?

Skin is the thin layer of tissue that covers the whole body. The plural is ‘skins’, but we use the singular form to describe one’s skin.

For example:

  • Your skin is glowing.
  • My skin goes really dark in the sun.

skin idioms list

Let’s look at some popular body idioms that contain the word ‘skin’.

  • by the skin of one’s teeth
    meaning – by a very narrow margin
    example – I thought I was going to be late for my interview, but I got there by the skin of my teeth.
  • couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding
    meaning – wimpy/cowardly/weak
    example – Gary said I couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding. I’ll show him in the ring.
  • have thick skin
    meaning – you don’t easily get upset by criticism/insults
    example – You need to be thick skinned if you want to become a politician.
  • jump out of one’s skin
    meaning – something shocks/scares you very much
    example – A huge spider ran across my leg. I nearly jumped out of my skin.
  • more than one way to skin a cat
    meaning – there are many ways to accomplish a goal
    example – I didn’t get tickets to the concert, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.
  • no skin off one’s nose
    meaning – you don’t care if something happens or not
    example – It’s no skin off my nose if you don’t pass your finals.
  • skin and bones
    meaning – very thin and underweight
    example – We found a sick dog on the street. He was skin and bones and infested with maggots.
  • skin someone alive
    meaning – severely punish someone
    example – I cracked the TV. My mum is going to skin me alive when she gets back.
  • skinflint
    meaning – a person who hates spending money
    example – My mum is such a skinflint, she won’t give me £1 for the charity cake sale.

skin idioms list with pictures

Here’s some real life picture examples.

idiomatic expressions with body parts - skin
skin idioms - by the skin of one’s teeth
skin idioms - couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding
skin idioms - have thick skin
skin idioms - jump out of one’s skin
skin idioms - more than one way to skin a cat
skin idioms - skin and bones
skin idioms - skin someone alive
skin idioms - skinflint

You can download a table of ‘skin’ idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more body idioms by clicking on the links below.