Earth idioms 

These earth idioms are great expressions to help expand your vocabulary.

Before we begin, "what on earth" is an idiom?

Idioms are a group of words that have a fixed meaning that is different than if you looked up the words separately in the dictionary. 


Infographic with a drawing of a view from the earth from outer space with a satellite surrounding it with the 9 idioms featured on this page with definitions and example sentences.

More sentence examples

It's useful to review more than one example sentence when you learn a new idiom. Here are additional examples for each idiom from the info-graphic:


bring back / come down to earth:  to make someone who is overly optimistic or fantasizing about something to become more realistic.

  • She's really pretty but when she goes to New York and sees the other models, she'll come down to earth again.
  • I really wanted to quit my job and start my own business but my credit card debt really brought me back to earth.
  • He thinks he's a big deal in junior high but when he starts high school in the fall he'll come back down to earth.  


go to the ends of the earth:  to make every effort possible to do something, especially when there are problems or difficulties.

  • My neighbor goes to the ends of the earth to help me after school and weekends because she knows my parents don't even speak English. 
  • I would have gone to the ends of the earth for my wife but she said she just doesn't love me anymore.
  • If you need a new personal assistant, my daughter would go to the ends of the earth working for you.

heaven / hell on earth:  an extremely pleasant or unpleasant situation or circumstance.

  • My roommates are total slobs and our apartment is like hell on earth.
  • Have you been to Bali? I swear it's heaven on earth.
  • These Japanese souffle pancakes are heaven on earth.

move heaven and earth (to do something):  to do everything possible to do something, especially when there are problems or difficulties. 

  • I moved heaven and earth to get my daughter into a private school and she got expelled two months later.
  • My husband moved heaven and earth to build our house and it was destroyed last week by the California wild fires.
  • Are you really willing to move heaven and earth to become a professional golfer?


salt of the earth:  a regular person who is respected because they are honest and good.

  • When I arrived here and didn't speak English, these people welcomed and helped me a lot.  They are the salt of the earth. 
  • It's rare to find someone who's the salt of the earth in big cities like London.
  • Unfortunately, he died last year. Everyone at his funeral said he was the salt of the earth.

earth to someone:  used to get the attention of someone who is not paying attention or who is daydreaming.

  • Earth to Jonathan! I'm not going to tell you again to turn off the TV and go to bed.
  • Earth to Mary... Why aren't you listening to me?
  • What did you say? Earth to Nick, I just told you twice that my flight arrives at 5:00 pm.

what / why / how / when / where / who on earth:  used to add emphasis to questions, especially to suggest that there is no obvious or easy answer to the question being asked.

  • I locked the dog in her cage. How on earth did she get out?
  • Who on earth is that wearing a string bikini to swim practice?
  • Where on earth have you been?  I've been waiting here for almost an hour!

down to earth:  someone who is realistic and practical; someone who is calm and unpretentious.  

  • She's your twin?  OMG, she's so down to earth compared to you.
  • I've got the best boss in the world. He's really down to earth and supportive.
  • We could have hired the temp who was down to earth but instead the director brought his neurotic niece in to be the receptionist.  


disappear / vanish off the face of the earth:  to suddenly and completely go away from sight.  

  • Have you seen my sunglasses? They've vanished off the face of the earth.
  • After dinner, everyone disappears off the face of the earth so they don't have to help out with doing the dishes.
  • I'll only go with you to the party if you promise not to disappear off the face of the earth like the last time.

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