Do You KNOW These Water Idioms?


Level: Intermediate    Reading Time: 6 minutes    Category: Idioms

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Idioms are a great way to improve your English communication skills. They will help you sound more natural and you will be able to understand native speakers more easily. In this lesson you will learn 5 idioms that are related to water!

Water under the bridge:

Definition: Things that happened in the past should be forgotten.

This idiom is often used to show that you forgive what someone did in the past. It doesn’t matter anymore and you move forward and pretend it never happened. 

Here are some examples:

  • It’s all water under the bridge – Don’t worry about it!
  • Thanks for apologising. It’s water under the bridge now.
  • Forget about the past. It’s water under the bridge.


If you didn’t check out this article yet, don’t worry… It’s water under the bridge but you should check out these study tips ASAP!

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Water off a duck’s back:

Definition: Criticism or warnings have no effect on a person

If you are not affected by the comments, criticisms and warnings of other people, their words are water off a duck’s back. They don’t matter and you just ignore them.

This is how you can use this idiom:

  • Negative YouTube comments on my videos are like water off a duck’s back.
  • I don’t care what she says about me… It’s like water off a duck’s back.
  • The best thing to do is treat it like water off a duck’s back and don’t think about it too much.


If you want to feel like English problems are water off a duck’s back, check this out:

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Definition: To describe two things that don’t mix well.

We usually use this idiom to express that some people or things don’t work well together. It also can mean that 2 or more people are very different and don’t get on well together.

Check out these examples:

  • I don’t like Steve at all. We are like oil and water.
  • The project is a disaster. The team get on like oil and water.
  • My friends from school and my friends from work are like oil and water. It ruined my wedding to be honest.


If you don’t want to be like oil and water with being a good speaker, maybe you should look at this next…

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Definition: To be uncomfortable in a place or situation.

Fish like to be in the water, right? If you take them out of the water, they are probably going to be uncomfortable. If you are in a situation where you are feeling uncomfortable, you can use this expression.

Here are some examples:

  • I really felt like a fish out of water when I went to that ballet class.
  • Robert said he was like a fish out of water in the intermediate Japanese class. Everyone else was so good!
  • Formal parties always make me feel like a fish out of water. I’m so uncomfortable the whole time.


If you don’t want to feel like a fish out of water when speaking English, you should try to avoid these mistakes!

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Dip your toe in the water:

Definition: to try or test something a little before you decide to make a commitment.

When you want to try something for a short time before you decide if it is right for you, you could say you are just dipping your toe in the water. Imagine you are going to jump into the lake, but you don’t know if the water is too cold, you should dip your toe in the water first to test it, right?

Here are some examples:

  • Before buying all the equipment, I want to dip my toe in the water first.
  • I am just dipping my toe in the water at the minute, but I am really enjoying Karate so far.
  • I wish I had dipped my toe in the water before I signed up to this course. It’s so boring!


Don’t dip your toe in the water when it comes to learning new idioms! Jump in head first and check these out!

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