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.