The word ‘get’ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to buy or receive.
- I got you an ice cream at the shop. (buy)
- I got top marks in the test. (receive)
Get is an irregular verb. The past tense is got and the past participle is got/gotten.
idioms list with ‘get’
- get a kick out of something – to enjoy something/get pleasure out of something
e.g.I really get a kick out of fishing, I’ve been twice this week already.
- get a lump in one’s throat – the tight feeling in your throat due to sadness/emotion
e.g. We had lumps in our throats whilst watching that documentary on dairy farming.
- get along swimmingly – be friendly with another person, get on well
e.g. Don’t worry about the kids, they’re getting along swimmingly.
- get back together – resume a relationship with a previous partner
e.g. We’ll never ever get back together.
- get cold feet get – nervous and change one’s mind about doing something
e.g. I didn’t compete in the singing competition, I saw the audience and got cold feet.
- get dolled up – dress in posh/elegant/fancy clothes
e.g. We should get dolled up and go to the casino.
- get down on one knee – a marriage proposal
e.g. I’m going to take her to the top of the Eifel Tower then get down on one knee.
- get down to business – start doing something with seriousness and determination
e.g. Let’s have a quick coffee break, then we’ll get down to business.
- get engaged – a promise to get married
e.g. I’ve been with Reece for 12 years, but we’re not engaged.
- get fired – be dismissed from your job
e.g. Did you hear about Katie? She got fired for stealing.
- get hitched – get married
e.g. I’m never getting hitched, I don’t believe in marriage.
- get in someone’s hair – annoy someone
e.g. My little brother is getting in my hair, I’m trying to revise for my exams.
- get into the swing of things – become accustomed to/comfortable with something
e.g. I’ve been in my new job for a few weeks now. I’m just starting to get into the swing of things.
- get it in the neck – be severely told off/punished
e.g. Stop messing around! If our project isn’t ready tomorrow, we’ll get it in the neck.
- get off on the wrong foot – begin a friendship badly
e.g. I always get off on the wrong foot with people. I think I come across a little arrogant.
- get off one’s high horse – stop acting like you are better than others
e.g. My sister needs to get off her high horse. She can’t lecture me about skiving school.
- get off someone’s back – stop annoying/bothering someone
e.g. Sarah should get off Harry’s back. He’ll finish with her if she doesn’t stop being annoying.
- get off to a flying start – make a successful start
e.g. My juice bar didn’t get off to a flying start, but it’s gaining popularity.
- get on like a house on fire – quickly become good friends and have a lot in common
e.g. We all got on like a house on fire at the dinner party.
- get on one’s nerves – annoy/irritate someone
e.g. My boyfriend got on my nerves, so I locked him in the conservatory.
- get one over on someone – proving you are better than someone else by winning
e.g. My housemate keeps stealing my milk. She can’t get one over on me, I`ve spat in it!
- get one up on someone gain an advantage over another person
e.g. I need to score today. If I can get one up on Cody, Laura will go out with me.
- get one’s goat annoy or anger someone
e.g. It gets Mr Harrison’s goat if you arrive late.
- get one’s hands dirty – do hard/manual work or something illegal
e.g. Karl will help you dig the hole, he loves getting his hands dirty.
- get one’s knickers in a twist – become angry/upset about something minor
e.g.Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m only 5 minutes late.
- get one’s money’s worth – get good value for the price you paid
e.g. I recommend booking Lilly’s party at soft play land, you certainly get your money’s worth.
- get one’s skates on – hurry up, be quick, stop procrastinating
e.g. Tell your brother to get his skates on. If he’s late again, he’ll be punished.
- get one’s teeth into something – get involved in a project/job/task etc. with great determination and effort
e.g. I really got my teeth into renovating the house. I can’t wait to do it again.
- get out of hand – a situation gets out of control
e.g. The party got out of hand very quickly. The Police arrived and shut it down.
- get out of the wrong side of the bed – said to a person who is angry/irritable/bad-tempered
e.g. Sorry for shouting at you this morning, I must have got out of the wrong side of bed.
- get serious with someone – not a casual relationship, an important relationship
e.g. George wants to go on holiday together, I’m not ready to get serious yet.
- get someone good and proper – play a trick on or scare someone
e,g, My girlfriend tricked me into believing we were having triplets, she got me good and proper.
- get someone’s back up – make someone angry
e.g. Tilly is getting everyone’s backs up. It wouldn’t surprise me if she is removed from the panel.
- get something off one’s chest – tell someone your problems, worries, a confession etc.
e.g. Tell me what’s wrong! You’ll feel better when you get it off your chest.
- get something off the ground – start operating/functioning
e.g. We need to get this project off the ground ASAP.
- get/set the ball rolling – start a process
e.g. I want to sell my house. I’ll call the estate agent and get the ball rolling tomorrow.
- get the boot/get given the boot – get fired from your job
e.g. If you don’t stop mucking around and do some work, you’ll get the boot.
- get the hump – become angry
e.g. Don’t tease the dog, she gets the hump if you take her food.
- get/give the lowdown – hear/tell someone the most important truthful facts
e.g. I heard Pete and Marge are getting divorced, get the lowdown when you see him at the footie.
- get the sack – be dismissed from your job
e.g. If you continue to be late, you’ll get the sack.
- get the show on the road – begin/start doing something
e.g. I’ll grab my coat and we can get the show on the road.
- get the wrong end of the stick – misunderstand something
e.g. Holly has got the wrong end of the stick. It’s not a date, just two friends having coffee.
- get to grips with something – comprehend, understand the situation, start to deal with a problem
e.g. I’ve blitzed the bathroom, now I’ll get to grips with the kitchen.
- get wind of something – become aware of something (especially a secret)
e.g. The king got wind of the enemy’s plan to invade and started assembling his troops.
- if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen – if you can’t cope with the pressure, stop doing it
e.g. My firm is the best in the UK. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
- like getting blood from stone – very difficult to get something from someone
e.g. Good luck trying to get your money back from Michael. It’s like getting blood from a stone.
Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.
Hey, did you know the verb ‘get’ has many phrasal verbs. Since you like idioms and phrases, you obviously want to improve your fluency and speak like a native.
Am I right?
I thought you might like to learn the phrasal verbs with ‘get’ too. They are very common in informal English and great to know/be able to understand if you happen to be speaking to a native. We use them all the time, like literally ALL the time.