130+ List of Idioms Starting with I | Idioms with Meaning

Idioms Starting with I | An idiom is a phrase or expression that typically presents a figurative, non-literal meaning attached to the phrase. Some phrases which become figurative idioms, however, do retain the phrase’s literal meaning. Categorized as formulaic language, an idiom’s figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.

Here are the list some of the Idioms starting with I:

Idioms Starting with I

Sr. No.IdiomMeaning
1I hereby give notice of my intentionHereby is used sometimes in formal, official declarations and statements to give greater force to the speaker’ or the writer’s affirmation. People will say it sometimes to emphasise their sincerity and correctness.
2I may be daft, but I’m not stupidI might do or say silly things occasionally, but in this instance I know what I am doing (Usually used when someone questions your application of common-sense).
3I should cocoaThis idiom comes from ‘I should think so’, but is normally used sarcastically to mean the opposite.
4I’ll cross that road when I come to itI’ll think about something just when it happens, not in advance.
5I’ll eat my hatYou can say this when you are absolutely sure that you are right to let the other person know that there is no chance of your being wrong.
6I’ve got a bone to pick with youIf somebody says this, they mean that they have some complaint to make against the person they are addressing.
7I’ve got your numberYou have made a mistake and I am going to call you on it. You are in trouble (a threat). I have a disagreement with you. I understand your true nature.
8Icing on the cakeThis expression is used to refer to something good that happens on top of an already good thing or situation.
9Idle hands are the devil’s handiworkWhen someone is not busy, or being productive, trouble is bound to follow.
10If at first you don’t succeed try try againWhen you fail, try until you get it right!
11If I had a nickel for every timeWhen someone uses this expression, they mean that the specific thing happens a lot. It is an abbreviation of the statement ‘If I had a nickel for every time that happened, I would be rich.
12If it ain’t broke, don’t fix itAny attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it.
13If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must come to MohammedIf something cannot or will not happen the easy way, then sometimes it must be done the hard way.
14If the cap fits, wear itThis idiom means that if the description is correct, then it is describing the truth, often when someone is being criticized. (‘If the shoe fits, wear it’ is an alternative)
15If wishes were horses, beggars would rideThis means that wishing for something or wanting it is not the same as getting or having it.
16If you are given lemons make lemonadeAlways try and make the best out of a bad situation. With some ingenuity you can make a bad situation useful.
17If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchenOriginally a Harry S. Truman quote, this means that if you can’t take the pressure, then you should remove yourself from the situation.
18If you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crowsIf you wish to be associated with a particular high risk and/or high profile situation and benefit from the rewards of that association, you have to accept the consequences if things go wrong – you cannot dissociate yourself.
19If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleasThis means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences.
20If you lie down with the Devil, you will wake up in hellThis means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences.

21If you willIf you will’ is used as a way of making a concession in a sentence: He wasn’t a very honest person, a liar if you will. Here, it is used a way of accepting that the reader or listener might think of the person as a liar, but without commit the writer or speaker to that position fully.
22If you’ll pardon my FrenchThis idiom is used as a way of apologizing for swearing.
23Ill at easeIf someone is ill at ease, they are worried or uncomfortable.
24Ill-gotten gainsIll-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly.
25In a cleft stickIf you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation, caught between choices.
26In a fixIf you are in a fix, you are in trouble.
27In a flashIf something happens in a flash, it happens very quickly indeed.
28In a fogIf you’re in a fog, you are confused, dazed or unaware.
29In a heartbeatIf something happens very quickly or immediately, it happens in a heartbeat.
30In a jamIf you are in a jam, you are in some trouble. If you get out of a jam, you avoid trouble.
31In a jiffyIf something happens in a jiffy, it happens very quickly.
32In a nutshellThis idiom is used to introduce a concise summary.
33In a pickleIf you are in a pickle, you are in some trouble or a mess.
34In a rutIn a settled or established pattern, habit or course of action, especially a boring one.
35In a tickIf someone will do something in a tick, they’ll do it very soon or very quickly.
36In a tight spotIf you’re in a tight spot, you’re in a difficult situation.
37In all honestyIf you say something in all honesty, you are telling the complete truth. It can be used as a way of introducing a negative opinion whilst trying to be polite; in all honesty, I have to say that I wasn’t very impressed.
38In an instantIf something happens in an instant, it happens very rapidly.
39In another’s shoesIt is difficult to know what another person’s life is really like, so we don’t know what it is like to be in someone’s shoes.
40In apple-pie orderIf something is in apple-pie order, it is very neat and organised.

41In broad daylightIf a crime or problem happens in broad daylight, it happens during the day and should have been seen and stopped.
42In cahootsIf people are in cahoots, they are conspiring together.
43In cold bloodIf something is done in cold blood, it is done ruthlessly, without any emotion.
44In dire straitsIf you’re in dire straits, you’re in serious trouble or difficulties.
45In donkey’s years‘I haven’t seen her in donkey’s years.’ – This means for a very long time.
46In dribs and drabsIf people arrive in dribs and drabs, they come in small groups at irregular intervals, instead of all arriving at the same time.
47In drovesWhen things happen in droves, a lot happen at the same time or very quickly.
48In for a penny, in for a poundIf something is worth doing then it is a case of in for a penny, in for a pound, which means that when gambling or taking a chance, you might as well go the whole way and take all the risks, not just some.
49In full swingIf things are in full swing, they have been going for a sufficient period of time to be going well and very actively.
50In high gearIf something is in high gear, it is in a quick-paced mode. If someone is in high gear, they are feverishly on the fast track.
51In high spiritsIf someone is in high spirits, they are in a very good mood or feeling confident about something.
52In his cupsIf someone is in their cups, they are drunk.
53In hot waterIf you are in hot water, you are in serious trouble.
54In light of‘In light of’ is similar to ‘due to’.
55In like FlynnRefers to Errol Flynn’s popularity with women in the 40’s. His ability to attract women was well known throughout the world. (‘In like flint’ is also used.)
56In my bad booksIf you are in someone’s bad books, they are angry with you. Likewise, if you are in their good books, they are pleased with you.
57In my bookThis idiom means ‘in my opinion’.
58In my good booksIf someone is in your good books, you are pleased with or think highly of them at the moment.
59In one ear and out the otherIf something goes in one ear and out the other, you forget it as soon as you’ve heard it because it was too complicated, boring etc.
60In over your headIf someone is in over their head, they are out of the depth in something they are involved in, and may end up in a mess.

61In perfect formWhen something is as it ought to be. Or, when used cynically, it may refer to someone whose excesses are on display; a caricature.
62In rude healthIf someone’s in rude health, they are very healthy and look it.
63In so many wordsThis phrase may be used to mean ‘approximately’ or ‘more or less’. I think it may have a sarcastic connotation in that the individual listening needed ‘so many words’ to get the point. It also may suggest the effort on the part of the speaker to explain an unpleasant truth or difficult concept.
64In someone’s pocketIf a person is in someone’s pocket, they are dependent, especially financially, on them.
65In spadesIf you have something in spades, you have a lot of it.
66In stitchesIf someone is in stitches, they are laughing uncontrollably.
67In tandemIf people do things in tandem, they do them at the same time.
68In that veinIf you do something in that (or this) vein, you do it in the same distinctive manner or style.
69In the bagIf something is in the bag, it is certain that you will get it or achieve it.
70In the ballparkThis means that something is close to the adequate or required value.
71In the blackIf your bank account is in credit, it is in the black.
72In the cardsIf something is in the cards, it is bound to occur, it is going to happen, or it is inevitable.
73In the catbird seatIf someone is in the catbird seat, they are in an advantageous or superior position.
74In the clearIf someone is in the clear, they are no longer suspected of or charged with wrongdoing.
75In the clinkIf someone is in the clink, they are in prison.
76In the clubIf a woman’s in the club, she’s pregnant. ‘In the pudding club’ is an alternative form.
77In the dockIf someone is in the dock, they are on trial in court.
78In the doghouseIf someone is in the doghouse, they are in disgrace and very unpopular at the moment.
79In the driver’s seatIf you are in the driver’s seat, you are in charge of something or in control of a situation.
80In the face ofIf people act in the face of something, they do it despite it or when threatened by it.

Read More – Use of Can in Hindi

81In the family wayIf a woman is in the family way, she is pregnant.
82In the fleshIf you meet or see someone in the flesh you actually meet or see them, rather than seeing them on TV or in other media.
83In the gravyIf you’re in the gravy, you’re rich and make money easily.
84In the holeIf someone is in the hole, they have a lot of problems, especially financial ones.
85In the hot seatIf someone’s in the hot seat, they are the target for a lot of unwelcome criticism and examination.
86In the knowIf you are in the know, you have access to all the information about something, which other people don’t have.
87In the lap of luxuryPeople in the lap of luxury are very wealthy and have have everything that money can buy.
88In the long runThis means ‘over a long period of time’, ‘in the end’ or ‘in the final result’.
89In the loopIf you’re in the loop, you are fully informed about what is happening in a certain area or activity.
90In the lurchIf you are left in the lurch, you are suddenly left in an embarrassing or tricky situation.
91In the makingWhen something is in the making, it means it is in the process of being made.
92In the offingIf something is in the offing, it is very likely to happen soon.
93In the pinkIf you are in very good health, you are in the pink.
94In the pipelineIf something’s in the pipeline, it hasn’t arrived yet but its arrival is expected.
95In the redIf your bank account is overdrawn, it is in the red.
96In the saddleIf you’re in the saddle, you are in control of a situation.
97In the same boatIf people are in the same boat, they are in the same predicament or trouble.
98In the short runThis refers to the immediate future.
99In the soupIf you’re in the soup, you’re in trouble.
100In the swimIf you are in the swim, you are up-to-date with and fully informed about something.

101In the swingIf things are in the swing, they are progressing well.
102In the tall cottonA phrase that expresses good times or times of plenty and wealth as tall cotton means a good crop.
103In the twinkling of an eyeIf something happens in the twinkling of an eye, it happens very quickly.
104In the zoneIf you are in the zone, you are very focused on what you have to do.
105In turnThis means one after the other. Example: She spoke to each of the guests in turn.
106In two mindsIf you are in two minds about something, you can’t decide what to do.
107In your bloodA trait or liking that is deeply ingrained in someone’s personality and unlikely to change is in their blood. A similar idiom is ‘in his DNA.’
108In your elementIf you are in your element, you feel happy and relaxed because you are doing something that you like doing and are good at. “You should have seen her when they asked her to sing; she was in her element.”
109In your faceIf someone is in your face, they are direct and confrontational. (It is sometime written ‘in yer face’colloquially)
110In your sightsIf you have someone or something in your sights, they are your target to beat.
111Indian fileIf people walk in Indian file, they walk in a line one behind the other.
112Indian giverAn Indian giver gives something, then tries to take it back.
113Indian summerIf there is a period of warmer weather in late autumn, it is an Indian summer.
114Ins and outsIf you know the ins and outs of something, you know all the details.
115Into each life some rain must fallThis means that bad or unfortunate things will happen to everyone at some time.
116Into thin airIf something vanishes or disappears without trace, it vanishes into thin air; noone knows where it has gone.
117Iron fistSomeone who rules or controls something with an iron fist is in absolute control and tolerates no dissent. An iron fist in a velvet glove is used to describe someone who appears soft on the outside, but underneath is very hard. ‘Mailed fist’ is an alternative form.
118Irons in the fireA person who has a few irons in the fire has a number of things working to their advantage at the same time.
119Is Saul also among the prophets?It’s a biblical idiom used when somebody known for something bad appears all of a sudden to be doing something very good.
120It ain’t over till the fat lady singsThis idiom means that until something has officially finished, the result is uncertain.

121It cost an arm and a legIf something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive indeed.
122It cost the earthIf something costs the earth, it is very expensive indeed.
123It never rains but it pours‘It never rains but it pours’ means that when things go wrong, they go very wrong.
124It takes a village to raise a childIt takes many people to teach a child all that he or she should know.
125It takes two to tangoThis idiom is used to suggest that when things go wrong, both sides are involved and neither side is completely innocent.
126It’s an ill wind that blows no goodThis is said when things have gone wrong; the idea being that when bad things happen, there can also be some positive results.
127It’s no use crying over spilt milkThis idiom means that getting upset after something has gone wrong is pointless; it can’t be changed so it should be accepted.
128Itch toIf you are itching to do something, you are very eager to do it.
129Itchy feetOne gets itchy feet when one has been in one place for a time and wants to travel.
130Ivory towerPeople who live in ivory towers are detached from the world around them.

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