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A list of phrases about parts of the body

A list of phrases about parts of the body

A list of phrases about the parts of the human bodyJudging by the number of phrases that relate to the human body - and there are more of them than of virtually any other topic - we may be just a touch self-centred. Here's a select list, with their meanings and origins:

[Note: see also, our long list of 'body' phrases.]

A bunch of fives

A chip on your shoulder

A foot in the door

A man after my own heart

A no-brainer

A safe pair of hands

A shot in the arm

A sight for sore eyes

A skeleton in the closet

A word in your shell-like

About face

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Achilles' heel

All fingers and thumbs

An albatross around one's neck

An arm and a leg

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

Ankle biter

Arms akimbo


Be still, my beating heart

Beauty is only skin deep

Blood and thunder

Blow your mind

Bone dry

Bone idle

Bone up on

Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth

Break a leg

Bums on seats

Bury your head in the sand

By the short hairs

By the skin of your teeth

Cloth ears

Cold shoulder

Colder than a witch's t**

Cost an arm and a leg

Cut off your nose to spite your face


Face the music


Fie, foh, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman

Finger lickin' good

Fingers and thumbs

Flesh and blood

Foam at the mouth

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears

Fruits of your loins

Get off on the wrong foot

Go and boil your head

Gregory Peck

Guts for garters

Hairy eyeball


Hand over fist

Hands down

Hanged, drawn and quartered


Has the cat got your tongue?

Head over heels

Heads up

Heads will roll

Heart's content

High five

Hot on the heels of

Hung, drawn and quartered

I spy with my little eye

I will wear my heart upon my sleeve

In my minds eye

In the twinkling of an eye

In your face

Joined at the hip

Keep a stiff upper lip

Keep body and soul together

Keep your chin up

Keep your hands clean

Keep your nose clean

Keep your nose to the grindstone

Keep your pecker up

Kick your heels

Knee-jerk reaction

Knuckle down

Knuckle under


Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing

Let your hair down

Loaf of bread

Long in the tooth

Lose face

Make a rod for your own back

Make your hair stand on end

Music has charms to soothe the savage breast

My mind's eye

Nosy parker

Off with his head

On the shoulders of giants

One hand washes the other

One's heart's content

Out of sight, out of mind

Plates of meat

Play by ear

Pound of flesh

Prick up your ears

Pull the wool over your eyes

Pull your finger out

Put up your dukes

Put your back up

Put your best foot forward

Put your nose out of joint

Put your shoulder to the wheel

Rack your brains

Rule of thumb

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything

Save face

Set your teeth on edge

Shake a leg

S*** for brains

Shot in the arm

Show a leg

Shut your cake-hole

Sight for sore eyes - A

Skeleton in the closet

Skin and blister

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Sticks and stones may break my bones

Stiff upper lip

Stiffen the sinews

Take the bit between your teeth

Take the upper hand

Talk to the hand

The apple of my eye

The beast with two backs

The face that launched a thousand ships

The long arm of the law

The upper hand

Thorn in the flesh

Thumbs up

Toe the line

Tongue in cheek

Turn a blind eye

Two heads are better than one

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Warts and all

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Win hands down

You can't get blood out of a stone

You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

Gary Martin - the author of the website.

By Gary Martin

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

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