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Business English - Body Idioms

Average: 2.8 (18 votes)

Take a look at this email sent by a manager to his employees. Pay attention to the orange idioms which all relate to the body. Do you know what they mean?

Note: The tone of this email is informal for a business correspondence. I have used a lot more idioms than you would expect to find in an email. I would not recommend using so many in real-life!

Business Email to Staff


We've all been so up to our necks in work that we've hardly had chance to catch our breath.  Last year's poor performance was a real body blow after expectations had been so high. Thankfully we've managed to turn things around when it looked like we might have gone belly up!

Underperforming products have been given the elbow and some new blood has been introduced at boardroom-level to help energise everyone and bring in some fresh ideas.

This is a little heads up about what's on the horizon.  To get a head start over our competitors, we've decided to launch our new product earlier than originally planned. We've all worked very hard to get where we are, and now we need to fight tooth and nail to make sure the product is a success.

After having our backs up against the wall recently, there is now light at the end of the tunnel.  We are confident our new product will put us ahead of the pack.

Thanks for all your hard work,


Other idioms

Here is the meaning of two of the other idioms used above.

Turn things around - to cause a situation or organization to change in a positive direction 

On the horizon - soon to happen.

Light at the end of the tunnel - Belief that a difficult or unpleasant situation will end.

Now decide the correct definition of the following idioms:

  • 1 - Up to your neck:

  • 2 - Catch your breath:

  • 3 - Body blow:

  • 4 - Belly up:

  • 5 - Give the elbow:

  • 6 - New blood:

  • 7 - Heads up:

  • 8 - Head start:

  • 9 - Fight tooth and nail:

  • 10 - Backs up against the wall:

  • 11 - Ahead of the pack: