When we consider how to learn English online there is one lesson we can take above all others. That is to enjoy ourselves. And what can be more fun than talking about love? In English we have a made-up word that is really appropriate for this article. We call it lurve, and this word means ‘love’ but said in a mushy, overly romantic way. Often, the word is accompanied by a cheesy (funnily fake) smile and a raising of the eyebrows.
In fact, love inspires many idioms; funny idioms, romantic idioms, soppy idioms; all love idioms.
Here are some examples, with their meaning and when to use them.
1. To love with all your heart and soul
To hold a deep and absolute love for a person. A deeply loving phrase, said quietly over a romantic dinner, while holding the hand of your partner, and looking seriously into their eyes, saying ‘I love you with my heart and soul.’
2. You are my one and only
Like the ABBA song My Love, My Life a promise that the person will be your only and lifelong love. To be said by candlelight, or perhaps to offer reassurance after an argument: ‘You’re my one (pause, and nod seriously) and only.’
3. Falling head over heels in love
To experience deep, sudden and absolute love for someone. That kind of love that occupies every waking hour (except, maybe, when the football’s on). This a strong term that can be used by one person to another, or by a third person describing love between two others: ‘I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you’, ‘They have fallen head over heels in love.’
4. To be smitten
To become obsessed by. To think about all the time: ‘I’ve been smitten with you since I first saw you on the bus.’ It is a phrase often said early in a relationship, especially when the couple have known each other for a while but have only just had their first date.
5. Take my breath away
In other words, to be so in love that breathing is impossible. This phrase can only be used when having a close romantic smooch (a close dance, with lots of physical contact) to ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Berlin. At any other time, saying it is illegal. Picture the scene: music plays, arms wrap around each other; ‘You take my breath away,’ is breathed romantically into an ear.
Actually, it’s not illegal to say it at other times. The phrase is perfect for when somebody dresses up to go out, or on one of those intimate moments, such as waking up together in the morning.
Idioms to Describe the Love of Others, or Love other than Romantic
While these can be said by one person to another, they are normally used by a third person when describing the love of others.
6. A match made in heaven
A relationship that is certain to succeed. It is often used by newspapers when two celebrities fall in love or announce their engagement: ‘Harry and Meghan are a match made in heaven.’ Beware, this phrase can also be used sarcastically, when the break-up of a couple has seemed inevitable: ‘I always said that they were a match made in heaven!’ When saying this, there is a small pause before the word ‘match’, and the pitch of this word is slightly dropped, to show that the speaker is being ironic.
7. To be the apple of my eye
This expresses a kind of warm love, the sort a father might hold for his daughter, or a mother towards her son: ‘You are the apple of my eye,’ in other words, I love you deeply – but not sexually!
Funny Idioms related to Love
8. To have a crush on someone
When something is crushed, it is squashed completely flat. However, having a ‘crush on someone’ means that they are really attracted to a person. The phrase is often said by a third person to the subject of the crush: ‘Bill’s got a real crush on you.’
9. To fancy a person
This is usually said by one person to another about a third party, as it is slightly comic and revealing of our innermost feelings, something the British are not good at sharing. However, it can also be a chat up line: ‘I really fancy Jackie. Do you think she’ll go out with me?’
10. To go out with someone
When you go out with someone, usually you stay in. Which is rather confusing. The term means initially to go on a date, but then for the relationship to progress beyond that date. In other words, spending lots of time together. ‘Will you go out with me?’ or ‘I’m going out with Julie. I’m so lucky.’
11. To dump, or be dumped
This is a counter phrase to a love idiom but needs to be mentioned here. The word ‘dump’ means to discard carelessly or without much feeling. When a relationship ends, there is usually sadness on both sides. However, by using a word with such a dismissive literal meaning, the speaker is really hiding their true feelings and needs a cuddle rather than a smile: ‘I’ve been dumped!’.
12. Love me, love my dog and love me, warts and all
In other words, to love a person – including their faults. These phrases might be said during a minor argument, such as when one person annoys the other: ‘Love me, love my dog!’ said by the person who has done the annoying or, said by the person who is being annoyed: ‘I love you, warts and all.’
13. Pop the question
The question being, ‘Will you marry me?’ This is, of course, the most important love idiom of all. Usually the phrase is said to a third person by the one who is making the proposal: ‘I popped the question to Louise last night. She said …’
But we haven’t got time to find out whether we’re heading off to a wedding!
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