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Top 11 Idioms About Talking To Show Off At Work

Ever feel like your colleagues speak in riddles? It’s true that native-English speakers sometimes talk a mile a minute, but knowing all these idioms about talking will help you keep up with them! Check out our podcast episode and practice with the exercise below. If you are serious about learning English, check our English idioms compilation here.

Listen to the full episode and read the transcript below. To get podcast updates straight to your inbox, register here. Learn new English idioms, decision-making phrases, tips to deliver engaging presentations, improve your tone in English, ensure effective communication, and overall speak English fluently. Find Talaera Talks on your favorite platform.

Summary of Idioms About Talking

Here you have a list with the most common idioms about talking and communication. Check them out and put them in practice at work or with a teacher:

■  He talks a mile a minute.  – Very quickly.
■ If you ever come to New York, drop me a line.  – Send me a note or a letter.
■  Tell me about it, get it off your chest.  – Say it and feel relieved.
■  “Are you listening to me?” “Yes, I’m all ears.  – I’m paying attention to you.
■  Please keep me In the loop / He said we kept him out of the loop,  – Aware (or unaware) of information known to only a group.
■  I’ve tried to discuss it with her, but it’s like talking to a brick wall.  – The person is not listening or paying attention.
■  It’s on the tip of my tongue.  – I can almost remember but not quite.
■  Anyway, long story short, we’re moving to Germany.  – To skip boring, unnecessary details.
■  “How much is the house worth?” “Off the top of my head, I’d say around $160,000.”  – From memory, without thinking too much.
■   They put me on the spot when they asked me about my other projects.  – They forced me into a difficult situation / asked me a difficult question.
■   Rumors spread like wildfire when people are excited.  – Circulate very quickly.
■  Take everything she says with a pinch of salt, because she tends to exaggerate.  – Be a bit skeptical about it.
■  Stop talking in riddles and tell me what this is about.  – Speak in a convoluted/complicated way.
■  I was just calling to touch base since it’s been a few weeks since we last spoke.  – To contact someone for an update.
■  We get most of our work through word-of-mouth recommendations.  – Spread by people talking about it.


Conversation questions to practice idioms about talking:

Answer the following questions using the idioms in bold.

  • Do you know anyone who speaks in riddles
  • What is something you found out through word of mouth?
  • From your friends, do you have to take any of them with a pinch of salt?
  • What do you do when you have something on the tip of your tongue?
  • Have you ever tried to discuss something with someone and it was like talking to a brick wall?
  • What do you do if a colleague/customer is talking a mile a minute and you can’t understand?
  • Off the top of your head, how many employees are there in your company?
  • Have you ever felt that you needed to get something off your chest?
  • Have any rumors about you ever spread like wildfire?

Exercise to practice idioms:

Fill the gaps with the correct word:

  1. I can’t really understand my new colleague. He talks a __ a minute.
  2. We’ve tried to make him understand, but it’s like talking to a __ wall.
  3. Sorry for telling you this long story, I just needed to get it off my __.
  4. If you ever need anything, drop me a __.
  5. Her name? Oh, it’s on the __ of my tongue.
  6. Tell me about your new project, I’m all __.
  7. We’ll keep you in the __ with all the updates.
  8. Anyway, __ story short, we need to postpone the deadline.
  9. He’s very hard-working, but when it comes to timeline, take him with a __ of salt.
  10. She explained the whole thing, but to be honest, she was talking in __ and no one fully understood.
  11. Hi, I was just calling to touch __. How’s the new venture going?
  12. How did you find out about them? Just word of __!

Talaera Talks – Transcript Bit 11

Topic: Idioms About Talking | ListenSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts

Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we’re going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!

Hi there. This is Paola and I hope you’re doing very well, wherever you’re listening from. Today, I have a new Talaera Bit for you and, as you know, these are shorter episodes where we discuss common business idioms and expressions.

Remember, before I forget, that you can go on the Talaera Blog and get the transcript, definitions, and more examples. There’s even a downloadable PDF that I think will be very, very useful. And you can go back to read it again, listen to this a couple of times and get them into your own vocabulary. So today, it won’t take us more than five, six minutes, and I hope you stick around until the end.

So what I have for you today is 10 idioms, actually 11, about communication, which is something you know I’m passionate about. I’ll start with a short fragment, pay attention! And I would like you to put a finger up every time you hear one of those idioms. All right. Let’s see if you can spot all of them. Are you ready? Here we go.

Hey, you know, I just wanted to touch base with you to let you know how it’s going with our new intern. He’s lovely. But he talks in riddles. And when I explain things, it’s, you know, it’s like talking to a brick wall. I know I sometimes talk a mile a minute, but I’m really trying my best to slow down. So long story short, not sure what the right fit to work together. Anyway, I just needed to get it off my chest and keep you in the loop. Please don’t say anything about it. These things spread like wildfire, and I don’t want the big boss to put me on the spot. I really want to make things work. So if you have any tips as to how I could handle that situation, please drop me a line. I’m all ears.

That’s it, that’s the end of a fragment. How many idioms Were you able to recognize? So here are the 11 I included: 1. we have to touch base, 2. talk in riddles, 3. like talking to a brick wall, 4. to talk a mile a minute, 5. long story short, 6. get it off my chest, 7. keep you in the loop, 8. spread like wildfire, 9. put me on the spot, 10. drop me a line, 11. I’m all ears. So now I would like to go over all of the definitions and give you some more examples to make sure you understand all of them and are able to use them later.

The first one was to touch base. To touch base is to contact someone for an update. For example, ‘Oh, I was just calling to touch base. It’s been a few weeks since we last spoke.’ Very common in sales.

So to touch base, remember that one. Number two is to talk in riddles. This means to speak in a complicated, convoluted way. And I sometimes say this to some of my friends, like stop talking to riddles stem to what it is you’re talking about. So talking riddles, to speak complicated in a complicated way.

Number three, like talking to a brick wall. And this is something my mom used to tell me when I was little. Llike talking to a brick wall is what we say when the person is not listening or is just not paying attention to you. For example, I’ve tried to discuss this with her, but it’s like talking to a brick wall.

Next one, to talk a mile a minute. If someone talks about a minute, it means they speak very, very quickly, which is something I sometimes do so to talk a mile a minute, as I said to speak very, very quickly.

Number five, long story short, you might know this one because it’s very, very common in English. And it means when you skip boring and unnecessary details, like, anyway, long story short, we’re moving to Germany.

And when you want to get something off your chest, right to get something off your chest, is when you say it, and you feel relieved, like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. You know, to tell you all of this, I just needed to get it off my chest.’

And then if you want to keep someone in the loop, you’re keeping them informed, you’re giving them the information they need to know about a situation.

The next one is to spread like wildfire. You know, when rumors circulate very quickly, that’s when we say they spread like wildfire super quickly.

Number nine, to put me on the spot, that’s not a place you want to be. ‘And I don’t want a big boss to put me on the spot.’ Or, ‘They put me on the spot when they asked me about my other projects.’ It just means to force someone into a difficult situation, or when they ask you a difficult question.

Number 10 – drop me a line. ‘If you ever come to Valencia, drop me a line.’ It means to send a quick note or letter, I mean, a letter. Does anyone use letters anymore? I mean, an email, you know, when you send a quick email to someone.

And number 11 and last one for today (I know these were quite a bit, so you’ll have to listen to this again). Number 11 was I’m all ears. It means I’m here to listen, I’m paying attention to you. And I really, really hope you were all ears throughout this episode. Now, go back and listen to the beginning of this episode. Again, while reading the transcript on the blog. It will really help but hold on before you go.

There’s actually something I need to get off my chest… Please remember that we don’t always talk like this in English. If we only communicated with idioms, people would think that we are the ones talking in riddles. They’re nice to us now and then. Or every now and then, sorry. But like everything in life, use in moderation. And long story short, these are the top 11 idioms you can use, you know, to show off at work when describing a communicative situation.

And that’s all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We’ll be back soon with more! And visit our website at for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!

And that’s all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We’ll be back soon with more! And visit our website at for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!

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