Are you ready to learn some idioms and expressions with numbers? Let’s start with some useful information.

what is a number?

A number is a symbol that shows an amount/total or a rank of something e.g.

  • 5 boys ran in the race. (amount)
  • I came in 1st place. (rank)

Numbers can either be written using their symbol e.g. 1,2,3 or using letters e.g. one, two, three. Numbers are used constantly in English and they are also included in many idioms.

Firstly, do you know the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers? Click below to find out and see some idioms that contain them.

Here are some more number related idioms.​

‘double’ meaning

The word ‘double’ is a synonym of the word twice. It means multiplied by 2. e.g. Shaun is 6 years old and his brother is 3. Shaun is double the age of his brother.

double idioms
double idioms - double date
double idioms - double whammy

‘dozen’ meaning

The word dozen is a slang word for the number 12. You’ll often hear people saying ‘half a dozen’. This means 6 of something e.g. I need half a dozen eggs for my quiche.

dozen idioms
dozen idioms - baker's dozen
dozen idioms - by the dozen
dozen idioms - dozen
dozen idioms - nineteen to the dozen
dozen idioms - six of one and half a dozen of the other

‘million’ meaning

The word ‘million’ is a very large number and requires 6 x 000000’s. e.g. £10 million = £10,000,000.

e.g. If I had £10,000,000, I would buy a mansion.

million idioms
million idioms - look like a million dollars
million idioms - million dollar question
million idioms - never in a million years
million idioms - one in a million

number idioms

Some idioms idioms contain the word ‘number’. Let’s take a look.

number idioms
number idioms - days are numbered
number idioms - do a number on
number idioms - have someone’s number
number idioms - look after/out for number one
number idioms - number cruncher
number idioms - number one
number idioms - safety in numbers

‘once’ meaning

The word ‘once’ is an adverb which means one time only. It is pronounced like ‘wuns’.

once idioms
once idioms - every once in a while
once idioms - give someone/something the once over
once idioms - once and for all
once idioms - once bitten, twice shy
once idioms - once in a blue moon
once idioms - once upon a time

other number idioms

Here are some other idioms with larger numbers.

number idioms
number idioms - catch-22
number idioms - elevenses
number idioms - fifteen minutes of fame
number idioms - fifty-fifty
number idioms - forty winks
number idioms - out for the count
number idioms - the eleventh hour
number idioms - twelfth of never

number idioms quiz

Now you’ve learnt the idioms, try to answer these questions:

  • Have you ever been on a double date?
  • What makes your heart beat 19 to the dozen?
  • What food do you eat every once in a while?
  • Name an activity you do once in a blue moon?
  • When was the last time you felt like a million dollars?
  • Are you good at crunching numbers?