Idioms: Body Parts – Neck and Throat

Today you can learn five more idioms about body parts, specifically about the neck and throat.

Long neck

To breathe down (someone’s) neck

This idiom means to pressure or carefully watch everything another person is doing. A boss may breathe down the neck of an employee who is not doing his job well.

Example: I’m sorry, but I can’t go with you to the pub after work today. I have to work overtime, because my boss is breathing down my neck to finish this project!

breathe down neckThe image of this idiom is that there is one person is standing behind another person, watching everything the front person does. The back person is standing so closely that the front person can feel the breath of the other on their neck

To be a pain in the neck

This means to be a really annoying problem. The problem is like a a pain in your neck.

Example: Ugh! My friend keeps asking me to do her favors and she won’t stop complaining about everything. She is being a real pain in the neck.

To stick your neck out (for someone/something)

This expression means that you take a risk for another person/thing. You do something you normally wouldn’t do, or make yourself vulnerable, in order to help someone.

Example: She stuck her neck out for him and recommended him for a job at her company, even though he had no experience in the industry.

FrogTo have/get a frog in one’s throat

This means to be unable to speak well because or a sore throat or dryness. There is something that is physically preventing the voice from being clear, so the sound is quiet, scratchy or broken.

Example: The students had a hard time hearing the teacher because she had gotten a frog in her throat.

Get/Have words stuck in your throat

Similar to having a frog in your throat, this means to be unable to talk clearly. The difference is in the reason you can’t talk. When you have words stuck in your throat it is because you suddenly feel a lot of emotion that stops you from being able to talk.

Example: The girl wanted to break up with him, but when she saw how sad he was, the words got stuck in her throat.


Ask in the Comments Form on the side, or book a class with me to learn more English idioms!