10 Idioms You Should Know Before You Write A Book

Writing a book is hard. That’s why we all need a little help and support along the way. One of the best ways to get that support and encouragement is through reading other writers’ books, articles, and blogs – especially those who have published non-fiction titles! 

You can learn so much from someone else’s experience writing a book. However, there are also some idioms that you should know before you start writing your first one. These idioms will make your work more enjoyable for both you and your readers, so it’s important to understand what they mean before diving into this process:

In a friendly tone

1. Learning idiomatic expressions enhances your writing style.
2. Idioms add depth and creativity to your language use.
3. Understanding idioms improves comprehension of figurative language in literature.
4. Incorporating idioms in writing can make it more engaging.
5. Idioms should be used contextually and thoughtfully in your writing.
6. Exploring idioms about books can aid in expressing literary concepts.
7. Idioms can contribute to a unique author’s voice in your writing.
8. Idioms can be valuable tools for conveying emotions and tone.
9. Using idioms in moderation can enhance the impact of your message.
10. Continuously expanding your idiom knowledge enriches language proficiency.

A Blessing In Disguise

A blessing in disguise is a phrase used to describe an event that at first appears negative, but ultimately has positive consequences. 

The idiom originated in the 16th century when it was a common belief that God would send good fortune to those who suffer hardships by disguising their pain as something else. For example: “My wife’s cancer diagnosis might have been devastating at the time, but it led us down a path of life-changing self-discovery.”

The point of this idiom is simple: sometimes bad things happen to good people. But even though we cannot always control our circumstances or predict what will happen next, we can control how we react to them and how they affect us, and often these experiences turn out to be blessings in disguise!

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Make No Bones About It

To make no bones about it is, to be frank, direct, and open about something. This idiom can be used as an exclamation or a command. 

To say “Make no bones about it!” means that you should be direct and open with someone else, in other words, don’t beat around the bush or sugarcoat your message. It can also be used as a command: “Make no bones about telling her how much you like her dress!”

All’s Well That Ends Well

This phrase is used when something goes badly, but it turns out well in the end. For example: “I was really worried about my dog getting hit by a car, but he managed to escape and live.” In this case, all did not go well for the dog. He got hit by a car and almost died! However, he managed to survive and live through all of it successfully!

The idiom is also used in other contexts as well:

  • All’s fair in love and war (a phrase meaning “anything can be done for love” or “anything goes in a fight”)
  • It’s all good (another way of saying everything will be fine)

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Well-Oiled Machine

A well-oiled machine is a term that describes a team that works well together. This is usually used to refer to an organization, like a business or sports team. It can also be used to describe people who are good at their job and do it efficiently, like doctors or lawyers.

In this idiom, oiling the machine means making everything run smoothly. If you have an organization with lots of departments working on different things, they might need help with communication and coordination between departments so they don’t duplicate each other’s work or get confused about who does what when someone else steps in to help out.

A Bird In Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

It’s wise to take the sure thing, rather than risk waiting for something that may never come. This idiom means you should be happy with what you have and stop looking for something better, as it may not be worth the wait.

The wisdom behind this idiom goes back to ancient Greece, where a man named Aesop wrote a story about a hungry crow who was too proud to eat any food that wasn’t shiny or attractive enough. The moral of his fable? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

The Best Of Both Worlds

This popular idiom is used to convey the idea that something has both positive and negative qualities. It’s often used in situations where you’re making a compromise between two options, or you’re trying to find a balance between two extremes. For example:

“I’d like to write a novel, but I also want to spend time with my family.” In this case and pardon the pun you’re looking for the best of both worlds. You want your family and your writing life; however, at this particular point in time, they are incompatible with each other because they require different amounts of time and energy from you.

Another example: “The job offer pays well but is located far away from where I live.” This job sounds great on paper because it offers everything that matters most money! But it comes with some serious downsides as well (longer hours spent traveling alone after work).

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away 

This one’s pretty straightforward. An apple a day keeps the doctor away means that eating healthy food is good for your health, and apples are a great example of such food. Apples are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber all of which help keep you healthy. So if you want to live longer (and who doesn’t?), it’s probably worth eating an apple every day!

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Bat Out Of Hell (Like A Bat Out Of Hell)

This idiom means “extremely fast.” It is used to describe someone or something that moves quickly. For example, if you are running late for work, you might say: “I should have left the house hours ago. I was driving like a bat out of hell!” 

This expression is also used to describe activities that happen at high speeds or with great energy. For example: “The two girls were fighting like cats and dogs at the party last night.”

The Big Cheese

We use this idiom to refer to the highest-ranking official, boss, or head honcho in an organization. It’s one of the most popular idioms out there and we all know what it means, but do you know how it came about?

It’s believed that the term comes from American Italian immigrants who lived in Chicago during the early 1900s. These immigrants were known for their love of dairy products (cheese), so much so that they would send shipments of cheese across America via train cars. 

These trains would often be delayed due to accidents or other issues, which meant that some of these shipments got held up and never reached their intended destinations. 

This resulted in many people becoming upset because they hadn’t received their order yet but when talking about those who were angry about this problem with others who had received their shipment on time, these people would say things like: “Oh well! 

You should just eat what you got!” This was an expression used by people who didn’t want others feeling sorry for them because they weren’t getting what they wanted right away; essentially it meant something like “Don’t worry about me I’ll get my share eventually.”

This expression became popular among Americans due to its fast delivery speed relative to other types of communication at that time (no internet!). Over time this idiom spread outside its community into mainstream English where we still use it today!

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together

This idiom means that people who are similar to each other tend to stick together, like birds flying in formation or fish swimming in schools. For example, “You can always count on the kids who attend our school to be friends with each other; they’re all birds of a feather.”

A similar phrase is “Birds of a feather flock together,” which means that similar people often group together or hang out. The expression is used when talking about people’s choices when it comes to friendships or romances; for example: 

The girls I grew up with have gone through so many divorces now that I think we’ve all settled down with guys who aren’t great matches for us because they’re too much like us!” Or: “All three of these guys are alike they drink too much beer and spend their weekends fishing on Lake Michigan.”

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Beating Around The Bush

As an author, we’re sure you’ve heard this idiom before: “Beating around the bush.” It means to be indirect or evasive. You should try not to beat around the bush when writing your book it’s better for your reader if you just get to the point. 

This is because beating around the bush can make it difficult for readers to understand what you mean; they’ll have to do a lot of guessing and re-reading until they figure out what you mean.

For example, let’s say that I told someone, “I like watching TV shows about scientists.” This sentence is quite vague because I haven’t specified which kinds of scientist-related TV shows I like watching (e.g., House MD vs MythBusters). 

So if my friend asked me more about this particular topic later on in our conversation, he/she would probably end up getting confused and frustrated when I replied with another vague statement like “I like science shows” instead of giving more specific details about what kind(s) of science show(s) interest me most (e.g., medical dramas vs science history documentaries).

Break A Leg

This is a common expression used to wish someone good luck before a performance or event. While it’s often associated with theater, the phrase dates back at least as far as the late 1700s and is believed to have its origins in an ancient Greek custom where people wishing for a good fortune would knock on wood, or even break a piece of it off and keep it as an amulet.

The phrase is also sometimes used about success after failure: “I broke my leg skiing yesterday, but I recovered and won gold at the Olympics today.”

Off The Beaten Track (Path)

This idiom means to be far away from a normal or well-established route or way of doing something.

For example: “My last vacation was off the beaten track, but it was one of the most fun I’ve had in years.”

The word “beaten” here can also be used as an adjective when referring to a path that is well-used by many people. For example: “She couldn’t find her way back to civilization because she had wandered too far into the woods and ended up on a beaten path.”

Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

This idiom means you shouldn’t assume that a situation will turn out the way you want it to, even if it looks as though it will.

The origin of this phrase is ancient and uncertain, but one possible explanation is that poultry farmers used to count their chickens (a sure sign of progress) before they hatched to determine how many eggs had been fertilized.

Cover all your bases (bases covered)

This idiom means to be prepared for any situation. To cover all your bases means to make sure that you have done everything you can to prepare for an outcome. 

For example, when writing a book, it’s important to make sure that your manuscript is ready at every stage of the process from formatting to editing and publishing. 

If you don’t do this, then there could be trouble down the line (or in this case, on Amazon). Covering all your bases means not leaving anything out or unfinished so that readers get what they expect from the book

Been there, done that (been there, done that, got the T-shirt).

Been there, done that (been there, done that, got the T-shirt).

This phrase is used when you want to say that you have experience or knowledge about something. You can also use this idiom when you want to express your feelings about a certain situation. For example:

I know what it means to be in a difficult situation because I’ve been there before.

In this example, we are using this idiom to show that we have had experience with being in a difficult situation before, and now we know how to handle it better than before

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On Cloud Nine (Be On Cloud Nine)

Being on cloud nine means you’re feeling very happy or lucky. For example, if your friend is getting married to their boyfriend of two years, you might say: “I’m so happy for them! They’re on cloud nine.”

The origin of this phrase comes from its use as an aviation term; pilots would report being “on cloud nine” when they were flying above the clouds. Now it’s commonly used to describe any other situation that makes someone feel like they’re flying high (like winning a big competition).

Keep Your Chin Up (Chin Up)

When someone tells you to keep your chin up, they’re giving you a pep talk. It means to remain optimistic, as well as cheerful, and resilient in the face of adversity. 

It’s also used when someone is struggling with something, like losing a loved one or going through some other difficult time. In that case, it means to keep fighting through it because there will be better things ahead if they just stay strong!

Keep your chin up!

Cross That Bridge When You Come To It

You’re reading this because you want to write a book. If you’re like most people who decide to write a book, it’s probably because of some problem or issue that is bugging you. 

Maybe you have an idea for something that will change the world for the better and make people’s lives easier or maybe not! 

Either way, it’s important to remember that writing will take the time that could be spent doing other things, like learning how to play guitar or looking into getting certified in hot yoga instruction. 

The best thing to do during these periods focuses on other aspects of your life while making sure not to cross any bridges until they come up before them (sorry). At some point in time though, those bridges might come up, and when they do…


I hope this article has helped you expand your vocabulary and become a better writer. 

If you’re interested in learning more about idioms, I recommend checking out Idioms by the Book (http://idiomsbythebook.com) which is an online database of more than 5,000 idioms from around the world with definitions and examples for each one. It’s a great resource for writers who want to make sure they don’t miss out on any cool phrases!

Further Reading

10 Idioms About Books
Explore a collection of idioms related to books, enhancing your understanding of figurative language in literature.

10 Useful English Idioms About Books
Delve into a compilation of idioms centered around books, adding depth to your grasp of English expressions.

20 English Idioms That Everyone Should Know
Expand your idiom repertoire with a selection of 20 commonly used idioms that can enhance your language skills.


What is the significance of learning idioms about books?

Understanding idioms related to books can enrich your language skills and help you comprehend nuanced expressions in literature and everyday conversations.

How can idioms improve my English language proficiency?

Idioms add depth and creativity to your language use. Learning them enhances your ability to express yourself vividly and understand colloquial language.

Are these idioms suitable for casual conversations?

Yes, many idioms are commonly used in casual conversations, making them valuable for both formal and informal contexts.

Can I use idioms in my writing?

Yes, incorporating idioms in your writing can make it more engaging and colorful. However, ensure they fit the context and tone of your piece.

Where can I find more idioms to expand my knowledge?

You can explore online resources, language blogs, and reference books dedicated to idiomatic expressions for continuous learning.