Skin And Bones

By Sharon

There are a lot of idiomatic expressions in English relating to skin and bones. Here are a few examples.

Bone idle – lazy. (Example: He never does anything; he’s just bone idle.)

Bone up – study. (Example: I need to bone up on history before the final exam.)

By the skin of your teeth
– barely. (Example: I caught the cab by the skin of my teeth. It was about to pull away.)

Close to the bone – offensive, painful or personal. (Example: I get a bit uncomfortable with Bob, because his comments are always close to the bone.)

Get under your skin – irritate or annoy. (Example: He is one of the most irritating people I know. He really gets under my skin.)

Have a bone to pick – have a complaint. (Example: I have a bone to pick with you. You gave me the wrong directions to the concert and I missed the start. )

Jump out of your skin – to be shocked or surprised. (Example: When the serial killer appeared in the movie, I jumped out of my skin.)

Make no bones – speak frankly. (Example: I make no bones about saying that the movie was terrible. )

No skin off my nose – it doesn’t matter to me. (Example: It’s no skin off my nose if you’d rather be alone.)

Save your skin – get away from a dangerous or unpleasant situation. (Example: The soldiers started to fire but I managed to save my skin by hiding in the bushes.)

Skin and bones – very thin. (Example: She never gains weight. She’s just skin and bones.)

The bare bones – the outline. (Example: The professor gave the students the bare bones of the topic and told them to read up on the rest. )

Work your fingers to the bone – work hard . (Example: While you went to the party, I worked my fingers to the bone tidying up the house.)

Can you think of any to add?

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2 Responses to “Skin And Bones”

  • Advice Network

    I can think of one with bone in it that is a euphemism for a condition cause by arousal.

  • Stephen Thorn

    Bonehead (dull-witted person)
    Bone yard (cemetery, or a junkyard for automobile parts)
    Bone weary (plain worn out, exhausted)
    Sawbones (physician)
    Bone box (coffin)
    Bone dance (sexual intercourse)
    Skull and crossbones (pirate’s flag, “Jolly Roger”)
    To the bone (completely, through-and-through, as in “She’s beautiful to the bone!”

    Skint (or skinned) (financially disadvantaged, broke)
    Skinflint (miser)
    Skinny (thin, slender)
    Straight skinny (the correct and complete story, as in “Here’s the straight skinny on Lindsay Lohan’s latest movie.”)
    Skin flute (vulgar term for a man’s sexual organ — as in “playing the …”)
    More than one way to skin a cat (colloquialism meaning there is more than one way to accomplish a task)

    There’s undoubtedly more, but I’m coming up bone dry right now (ha ha ha).

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