10 English Idioms with the word SHOW

#1 – a show of hands

= asking people to raise their hands if they approve of something or will answer “yes” to a question

Can I see a show of hands for how many people are available to help out at the festival?

#2 – just for show

= mainly to appear good, to make a good impression on other people, but doesn’t necessarily reflect the true situation

The company gives an “Employee of the Year” award, but it’s just for show – the winner doesn’t get any real benefits.

#3 – a no-show

= someone who doesn’t appear for a previously scheduled appointment

The client who was supposed to come at 3:30 was a no-show, so I went home early.

#4 – show your true colors

= reveal the true nature of your character

When things get stressful, that’s when people start to show their true colors.

#5 – show someone the door

= order the person to leave. This can be used when someone is fired from their job, or kicked out of someone’s life after the end of a romantic relationship.

Gary’s performance at work was getting worse and worse, and eventually the company showed him the door.

Note: When we want to talk about bringing a guest in your home or office to the door as he/she is leaving, we say show (the person) to the door, or show (the person) out.

#6 – show someone the ropes

= teach someone the details of a task or procedure

During my first week on the job, my co-workers showed me the ropes.

#7 – show someone who’s boss

= make it clear to the other person that you have more power/authority

If the kids in the classroom are misbehaving, the teacher must show them who’s boss.

English Idioms - Show who's boss

She needs to show the kids who’s boss! (Image source)

#8 – show what you’re made of

= prove how smart, strong, or brave you are

My boss has given me a huge project – now’s my chance to show what I’m made of.

#9 – show biz

= short for “show business” – the industry of performance and entertainment (theater, music, TV, movies, radio, etc.)

She quit her job in Boston and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in show biz.

#10 – steal the show

= get all the attention and praise, especially at an event or performance

All the singers were good, but Brian completely stole the show!

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