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13 Beach-Inspired English Expressions You’ll Love

Are you getting some hot weather where you live? 

When the weather gets warm, many people head to the beach to relax on the sand or take a dip in the water to cool off.

To celebrate sunny summer days, we’ll take you through some English idioms that are inspired by the beach

1. To bury one’s head in the sand

→ To ignore a problem by pretending you don’t know it’s happening

Don’t bury your head in the sand. We need to do something to stop climate change now!

2. To dip one’s toes in the water

→ To try an activity or new experience to see if you like it

I don’t know if hip hop class is for me, but I’ll dip my toe in the water.

3. To draw a line in the sand

→ To set a limit to what you are willing to do

I don’t mind driving you to your friend’s house, but lending you my car is where I draw a line in the sand.

4. Fish out of water

→ Someone who’s out of place in their surroundings, away from their usual environment

When I first started my job at the web design firm, I felt like a fish out of water.

5. Fishy

→ Suspicious; not to be trusted

I just met our new neighbours. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something fishy about them. 

6. Life’s a beach

→ Life is great

I’ve got a beautiful family, a big house, a job I love—life’s a beach!

7. To make waves

→ To cause problems, usually by disturbing a situation 

I don’t really like how our manager is dealing with the new client, but I’ll keep quiet because I don’t want to make waves.

8. Sea change

→ A big change or a complete transformation

Since the liberal government was elected, there’s been a sea change across the country. 

9. To swim with sharks

To be involved with dangerous people

I really don’t trust my son’s new friends. I think he’s swimming with sharks. 

10. There are other fish in the sea

→ There are other romantic partners available

I know you’re sad about breaking up with your boyfriend, but you’ll be okay. There are other fish in the sea!

11. The tide is turning/the tide turned

→ The situation is changing or has changed

Our local football team was the worst in the league. But the tide turned and they started winning every game.

12. To tide (someone) over

→ To provide support (often financial) to help someone through a difficult period 

My mom gave us some money to buy some groceries—that should tide us over until our next payday.

13. The world is your oyster

→ You can do whatever you want; you have endless opportunities

You don’t have to decide on a career yet! Go travelling; have some fun—the world is your oyster!

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.