Religious idioms, explained
"An act of God" -
An act of God is used to describe a natural event that cannot be controlled or avoided, such as an earthquake.
"Baptism by fire" -
This idiom is used to describe a difficult experience, where one is tested without having previous experience. E.g. taking on a difficult project when starting a new job.
"A blessing in disguise" -
This is essentially when something bad happens but leads to something positive. E.g. a person is fired and then finds a better job.
"Gospel truth" -
When something is the gospel truth, it means that it is undisputedly the real truth.
"Raise hell" -
Raising hell is essentially behaving badly. To cause trouble to someone or to be causing trouble somewhere.
"Wing and a prayer" -
Doing something on a wing and a prayer is about hoping things will work out, against all the odds.
To "carry" or "bear one’s cross" - This idiom is about resilience, enduring, and carrying on, despite how difficult your life might be, in the same way Jesus carried his cross to be crucified.
"Cold day in hell" -
This idiom is used to describe an unlikely event…very much like a cold day in hell!
A "devil-may-care" attitude -
This idiom is used to describe someone who has a relaxed attitude and doesn’t really care about the consequences of their actions.
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" - This biblical expression is about justice and paying back in the same way.
This idiom is used to describe a person who thinks they are better than others. A self-righteous, judgmental person who acts like they are morally superior.
"In limbo" -
Being in limbo is about uncertainty. It's often used to describe doubt in making a decision, or to describe an undecided or uncertain circumstance or condition.
"In seventh heaven" -
When one is in seventh heaven, one is in a perfect state of bliss. It’s about being in the perfect place or situation.
To "scare the hell out of" someone - This idiom is used when something or someone really scares a person! E.g. “You scared the hell out of me by suddenly appearing out of nowhere.”
"Speak of the devil" -
This expression is used when a person is mentioned in a conversation and they then coincidently appear.
"All hell broke loose" -
The idiom "all hell hell broke loose" is used to describe an event where chaos ensued and things got out of control.
"Not a snowball's chance in hell" - Similar to the “cold day in hell” idiom, this one also describes something that is very unlikely to happen.
"Devil's advocate" -
When someone plays devil’s advocate, the person uses an argument that they disagree with, just for the sake of debate.