English Home and House Idioms
Understanding native-English speakers can be hard for language learners, especially if the English is fast, social and involves lots of phrasal verbs and idioms.
Here you’ll see how you can use some of the most common idioms involving the house and home! These are very typical expressions in the UK, and you’ll hear them in everyday English use all over the country.
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Make yourself at home
This idiom is used to talk to guests in your house, and is a really common expression when someone first comes into your home. It generally means that the guest shouldn’t be nervous to sit down, to ask for something or to be comfortable.
British culture can be a bit awkward and tense at the beginning, so these types of expressions are very useful!
“Hi guys, welcome, make yourself at home, who wants a drink?”
“Let’s all make ourselves at home, get comfy and put on a movie?”
It’s on the house
This is really a cost and pricing saying, where the ‘house’ is a business. It’s a fun expression that means that something is free.
We can use it if we want to give someone something, and they try to pay, and we can say “it’s on the house, don’t worry about it”.
Do it ‘in-house’
This is a great DIY (do it yourself) expression, that means you will try to do something yourself, instead of paying someone to do it for you.
It can be used at home, or in a business as well. In the business world, it might mean doing a marketing campaign ‘in-house’ instead of hiring an expensive agency to do it for your team.
“Let’s do the product design in-house, and save the budget for prototyping”
Wear the trousers in the house
This idiom is all about who is in control, and who makes the decisions in your house. It’s an old-fashioned expression, and probably a bit sexist, so be careful where and when you use this one.
“I wear the trousers in my house, but I try to not be overpowering”
“I don’t know who wears the trousers in our house, I think we’re fairly equal”
As safe as houses
This expression is based in the investment and finance world, coming from the idea that investing in the property market was the safest way to make money. This expression has a London ‘cockney’ twist to it, and is more commonly heard in that area.
“This new client is safe as houses, I trust them to pay”
“He’s safe as houses, I really like him, and he seems like a good guy”
Try adding some of these home idioms to your English, and you’ll be able to keep up with and understand native speakers more easily.
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