Let’s learn some drink idioms and expressions with all your favourite types of beverages.

beer idioms

Let’s kick off our drink idioms and expressions list with beer! That alcoholic drink us Brits drink by the bucket load.

beer idioms

a beer belly

meaning – a big stomach due to eating/drinking too much
example – We need to go on a diet after our holiday. We’ve got beer bellies.

beer idioms - beer belly

beer goggles

meaning – alcohol makes people seem more attractive
example – I Facebook stalked the girl I pulled. I definitely had beer goggles on last night.

beer idioms - beer goggles

milk idioms

milk idioms and expressions

don’t cry over spilt milk

meaning – don’t be upset about something that has already happened/something you can’t change
example – I failed my exam. There’s no use crying over spilt milk, I can re-sit next year.

milk idioms and expressions - don’t cry over spilt milk

milk it

meaning – pretend to remain sick/hurt to continue getting the benefits
example – My sister has milked it all week, she’s only got a cough but had 5 days off school.

milk idioms and expressions - milk it

drinks idioms

drink idioms

a champagne lifestyle

meaning – a luxurious lifestyle
example – My neighbour stole thousands from the council to fund a champagne lifestyle.

alcohol idioms - champagne lifestyle

drink like a fish

meaning – drink too much alcohol
example – I think Tara has a problem; she drinks like a fish.

drink idioms - drink like a fish

wake up and smell the coffee

meaning – pay attention, face reality
example – Wake up and smell the coffee. It must be Brian who has been stealing from you.

coffee idioms - wake up and smell the coffee

wet one’s whistle

meaning – have a drink
example – Can we stop in the shop? I want a drink; I need to wet my whistle.

drink idioms - wet one’s whistle

tea idioms

tea idioms

a brew

meaning – a cup of tea
example – I made the last brew, it’s your turn to make the next one.

tea idioms - a brew

as much use as a chocolate teapot

meaning – totally useless
example – I hired a new guy, he’s as much use as a chocolate teapot.

tea idioms - as much use a a chocolate teapot

not for all the tea in China

meaning – there is nothing that will persuade you to do something, not for any price
example – I would never sell my classic car collection. Not for all the tea in China.

tea idioms - not for all the tea in china

not one’s cup of tea

meaning – don’t like something
example – I’ve been to a few theme parks but they’re not my cup of tea. I hate heights and queues.

tea idioms - not one’s cup of tea

water idioms

Let’s finish out drink idioms and expressions list with H2O, or water as it’s more commonly known.

water idioms

blood is thicker than water

meaning – family is more important than any other relationship
example – Do I go to my cousin’s wedding or a festival with my friends? Blood is thicker than water.

water expressions - blood is thicker than water

dead in the water

meaning – not functioning, has failed
example – Our idea is dead in the water, the boss said it’s not possible.

water idioms - dead in the water

dip one’s toe in the water

meaning – be cautious when starting something new
example – My brother loves painting. He’s just dipping his toe in the water at the moment.

water idioms - dead in the water

in deep water

meaning – in difficulty/trouble
example – I’ve been summoned to the school. Lilly is in deep water.

drink idioms - in deep water

in hot water

meaning – in a lot of trouble
example – I’ll be in hot water with my parents when they find out I’ve been skipping school.

water sayings- in hot water

keep one’s head above water

meaning – survive in difficult times, especially with money
example – The first part of the year was difficult, now we’re keeping our heads above water.

drink idioms - keep one’s head above water

like a fish out of water

meaning – feel uncomfortable in a certain situation
example – I felt like a fish out of water at Oxford university, everyone was posh but I’m not.

water sayings - like a fish out of water

spend money like water

meaning – carelessly/wastefully spend money
example – You’ve got to stop spending money like water. You’ll never be able to afford a flat.

water idioms - spend money like water

still waters run deep

meaning – shy/quiet/calm people are often interesting
example – I spoke to Geeky Graham today. It’s true what they say, still waters run deep.

water idioms - still waters run deep

take to something like a duck to water

meaning – have a natural ability
example – Hayley has taken to motherhood like a duck to water. She is a natural.

water idioms - take to something like a duck to water

test the water

meaning – try and find out people’s reaction before deciding to do something
example – A fund-raising day might be an option. I’ll test the water before arranging anything.

water idioms - test the water

throw cold water on

meaning – discourage, reduce enthusiasm
example – I hate my job; my boss is always throwing cold water on my ideas.

water idioms - throw cold water on

tread water

meaning – not progress towards a goal, stay in the same place
example – I’ve had the same job for 20 years; I’m just treading water.

water expressions - tread water

unchartered waters

meaning – new/unknown/unfamiliar
example – Graphic design is unchartered waters for me, but I’m willing to learn.

water sayings - uncharted waters

water down

meaning – make something weaker or diluted
example – The comedian will probably water down his set as kids are allowed to go.

water idioms - water down

water off a duck’s back

meaning – insults, criticism etc. have no effect on a person
example – All the criticism is like water off a duck’s back to Henry. He just tries even harder.

water expressions - water off a duck’s back

water under the bridge

meaning – incidents in the past are no longer important
example – We didn’t speak for years, but it’s water under the bridge now.

water phrases - water under the bridge

If you’ve enjoyed learning about drink idioms and expressions, why not learn some food idioms next?