In this episode, we’re going to learn about how to express happiness, sadness and anger using commonly used idioms.

Audio Episode

Lesson Highlights

Happiness Idioms

To talk about extreme happiness you can use one of the following idioms:

  • I’m thrilled to bits.
  • I am/feel on top of the world.
  • I’m on cloud nine.
  • I’m over the moon.
  • I’m in seventh heaven.

Other Happiness Idioms

  • get a (real) kick out of something: very much enjoy doing something
  • do something for kicks: do something because it is exciting, usually something dangerous
  • jump for joy: be very happy and excited about something that has happened
  • be floating/walking on air: be very happy about something good that has happened
  • something makes your day: something makes you feel very happy

Sadness Idioms

Here is a list of the sad idioms we learned in this lesson:

  • out of sorts: slightly unhappy or slightly sick
  • down in the dumps: unhappy
  • it’s not the end of the world: what has happened won’t cause any serious problems
  • just grin and bear it: accept a situation you don’t like because you can’t change it
  • a misery guts: someone who complains all the time and is never happy
  • sour grapes: being jealous about something you can’t have
  • put a damper on: stop an occasion from being enjoyable

Anger Idioms

These are some idioms we can use to express the fact that we are angry:

  • I’m fed up with trying to live on such a small wage.
  • I’m at my wits’ end trying to keep things in order.
  • I’ve had it up to here with this organization.
  • Your boss will have/throw a fit when he finds out your forgot to reply to those emails.
  • If someone’s blood is up, they are very angry and may react in a violent way.
  • If you are after someone’s blood, you want to catch them in order to hurt or punish them.
  • If you are out for blood, you are determined to find someone to attack or blame for something bad that has happened.

How about some idioms that describe angry relationships:

  • drive someone up the wall: make someone very angry
  • rub someone up the wrong way: make someone annoyed
  • ruffle someone’s feathers: make someone annoyed
  • no be on speaking terms: be so angry with each other that they refuse to speak to each other
  • give someone an earful: tell someone how angry you are with them
  • give someone a piece of your mind: tell someone how angry you are with them

Let’s Practice

Talking about Feelings 1 Quiz 

Level: Intermediate - Upper-Intermediate
Quiz time: about 5 minutes

Correct the mistakes in these idioms. (Rewrite the entire sentence - Sorry 🙂 )

The child was thrilled for bits to have her photo in the paper.

I felt as if I was floating in air as I ran down the hill into her arms.

Why does Marti look so out of sort today?

Don't make such a fuss. It's not the finish of the world!

Your telephone call has really done my day!

Jill said she was on cloud seven and Jack agreed that he was in ninth heaven.

Why does Mark always have to be such a miserable guts?

Stereotypically, happy footballers say that they are over the sun.

Answer these questions. (Answers will vary, so I'm only including sample answers, and it's nearly impossible to guess what I exactly wrote in the answer, but forget about the grade here, we're here to learn, right 🙂 )

Would a piece of good news or a piece of bad news be more likely to make your day?

If you got top marks in an exam, would you feel down in the dumps?

Are people more likely to get a kick out of hot-air ballooning or cleaning their boots?

Do you have to grin and bear it when you are happy or unhappy about something that has happened?

If you are at someone's birthday party, what would be more likely to put a damper on the event - news of the illness of a close friend or a heavy shower of rain?

Do people usually enjoy or not enjoy being in the company of a misery guts?

You have a beautiful new sports car that a colleague is rather envious of. What is your colleague more likely to say out of sour grapes? 'I love its green color!' or 'Of course, that model is very unreliable!'

A damper is literally a thing put on piano strings to make the sound less loud. How does knowing this help you to understand the idiom using the word damper?

Do you notice anything that a number of the images in the happiness idioms have in common?

Complete each of these idioms.

Ethan has had it up to ______ with his work.

It's horrible living with two people who are not on speaking ______.

Joel is ______ your blood now he knows it was you who told the police.

The demonstrators are furious and ______ for blood.

Your father will throw a ______ if you go out dressed like that.

The baby hardly sleeps at night and her mother is at her ______ end.

Correct eight mistakes in this paragraph. (Rewrite the entire paragraph with the corrected words)

Yesterday I had terrible toothache. It hurt a lot and I guess that's why I was in a bad temper all day. Everything anyone said seemed to put the back up and, in the end, I threw a fuse with the person I share my office with. Even when I'm in a good mood, she sends me up the twist with her constant chatter and yesterday I had had it off to here with her after only ten minutes. I really gave her an eyeful and the result is that we are no longer in speaking terms. I know I'll have to apologize for doing my nuts like that, but perhaps I'll wait a while. It's much easier to work when she isn't talking to me! Perhaps I should give her a peace of my mind more often.

<a href="" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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