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Spooky Halloween Idioms and Phrases

Unless you’ve been living in a separate galaxy in the last few weeks, you will have noticed that many people, including English Language Trainers, have been preparing for Halloween. So not wanting to feel left out I thought I would join the crowd and make my own contribution towards this pagan feast.

What better way than to share with you 10 idioms and phrases with a Halloween theme! Halloween is associated with scary and spooky images like witches, black cats, blood, skeletons, ghosts, bats, weapons (knives, daggers) as well as less scary images like pumpkins and owls. I’m sure you can think of others. In this lesson I’ve carefully chosen some English expressions which you will enjoy learning. I hope you enjoy them.

To send shivers down one’s spine

Meaning : to make someone feel very frightened or excited.
Example :The way he looked at me sent shivers down my spine.

Come back to haunt someone.

Meaning: The consequences of a bad decision to affect one
negatively later.
Example : I never dreamed that a little thing like a traffic ticket
could come back to haunt me years later.

To dig one’s own grave

Meaning : To be responsible for one’s own downfall or ruin.
Example :If you try to cheat the bank, you will be digging your own
grave.

Scare the pants of someone.

Meaning :To frighten someone very badly. (Of is usually retained
before pronouns.)
Example : Wow! You nearly scared the pants off me!

Witching hour

Meaning : With a modern literal meaning of “midnight,” the term
witching hour refers to the time of day and night (12:00 a.m. or
12:00 p.m. is commonly speculated) when creatures such as witches,
demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most
powerful and black magic to be most effective.

Skeleton staff

Meaning : The fewest number of people needed in an office.
Example : We always operate with a skeleton staff over the Christmas
period.

Ghost town

Meaning : A town permanently abandoned by its inhabitants, as
because of a business decline or because a nearby mine has been
worked out.
Example : I am stuck in this ghost town, all youngsters in this town
have moved to bigger cities for better opportunities.

In cold blood

Meaning :To act in cold blood is to do something without any emotion
and deliberately.
Example : The victim was shot in cold blood.

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