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Spooky Halloween Idioms For Any Day Of The Year

In this Halloween-themed post, we look at some spooky idioms that you can use for Halloween or any other day of the year. Le’ts start with a little story. Play the episode above and count all the idioms you can hear.

Many organizations have a skeleton in the closet, and this Halloween story is about one of them. Hunter, the co-founder of this company, was a night owl, and would often be late for his morning meetings with clients. He knew he was digging his own grave by neglecting important relationships, but to play devil’s advocate, he was a sweet, hardworking man with great IT knowledge. His business partner, Amber, got really mad at him and went on a witch hunt until she turned every employee against him. Hunter felt that she’d stabbed him in the back but in no way would he allow her to steal the company from him. Over my dead body, he thought! And then he devised his devious plan…

How many Halloween idioms did you spot? There are six idioms in this story. Let’s take a look at each of them.

1. A skeleton in the closet 💀

A skeleton in the closet refers to an embarrassing fact or a scandal that someone wants to keep secret.


  • Many organizations have a skeleton in the closet.
  • She is worried that someone will find out about her skeleton in the closet.

2. Night owl 🌃

A night owl is a person who loves staying up late and who feels more active or wakefull at night.


  • I used to be a night owl when I was younger, but now I’m more of an early bird.

3. Dig your own grave ⛏️

To dig your own grave is to do something that will cause you harm or problems in the future.


  • He knew he was digging his own grave by neglecting important relationships.

4. Play devil’s advocate😈

To play (the) devil’s advocate is to argue against an idea, argument, or theory –even if you are in favor of it– for the sake of debate or to further examine its strength, validity, or details.


  • He was often late, but to play devil’s advocate, he was a sweet, hardworking man with great IT knowledge.

5. Go on a witch hunt 🧙‍♀️

To go on a witch hunt is to start a campaign against a person or group who have different or unpopular views.


  • She went on a witch hunt until she turned every employee against him.

6. Stab somone in the back 🔪

Across the board means applying to all; affecting everyone or everything within an organization, system, or society. If something happens across the board, it happens or has an effect on people at every level and in every area.


    • Hunter felt that she’d stabbed him in the back.

These American idioms are the most frequent ones in spoken, academic, and journalistic English. You may also want to learn some common business idioms (the ones you’ll hear more frequently at work).

Keep Improving Your Business English

Learning idioms can help you improve your fluency in English. If you are serious about improving your business English skills, get in touch with Talaera. We will help you take your professional English communication skills to the next level.

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