Idioms – Body Parts: Chest and Stomach

Here is the third in the series of idioms about parts of the body. Today you can learn five more idioms that have to do with the stomach (also called the belly) and the chest.

dead fishTo go belly up

This means to fail at something or to die. The image is a little sad. Imagine a fish. If you see the fish floating in the water with its belly up, you know it has passed away. Likewise, if you say a business has gone belly up, it means the business failed and closed.

Example: The last video store in town went belly up last month, because everyone watches their movies online now.

To have a beer belly

This means that you have a large stomach, probably from drinking too much beer! This is usually used to describe older men.

Example: Since Joe started just sitting around all day watching football on TV and drinking beer, he has started to have a beer belly!

To beat your breast/chest

This means that you show your negative feelings in a very public way. This usually refers to guilt or sadness.

Example: He lost his bet in the Superbowl and wouldn’t stop beating his chest about how dumb he felt.

To get something off your chest

This idiom means to talk about an issue that is bothering you. To tell someone a thought or feeling that you have been holding on to.

Julia: Hey, Bob, can I talk with you for a minute?  I  just want to get something off my chest.
Bob: Yeah, um, ok. What’s up?
Julia: I am miserable working here and I finally found a new job. I quit!

gorillaTo put hairs on your chest

This idiom usually refers to alcohol or food. It means that something is very strong or has an overwhelming taste. This idiom implies that doing something will make you more like a man (with a hairy chest).

Example: Wow, try a drink of this moonshine! It will put hairs on your chest!



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