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Friendship Idioms

Ask a Teacher: Friendship Idioms
Ask a Teacher: Friendship Idioms
Friendship Idioms
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Today, we answer a question from a group of friends. They write:


"We are Yasemin, Kübra, Hicret, Rukiye, and Nazli and we are writing from Turkey. We would like to learn some idioms about friendship. Thank you." - from Yasemin in Turkey


Dear Yasemin,

Thank you for writing to us. There are many idioms, or sayings, in English that we use when we want to describe relationships between and among friends. Here are a few to practice with your friends.

Through thick and thin

The idiom “through thick and thin” is used to define a friend who is loyal and supportive during bad times as well as good times. It most often describes a friendship that has been strong for a long time. Here are two examples:

John and Lisa have been friends through thick and thin.

My best friend and I stayed together through thick and thin.

Two peas in a pod

If two people are “like two peas in a pod,” it means that they get along very well. They are two very good friends and they are very similar to each other.

I have never seen Lola and Camille argue; they are like two peas in a pod.

Peas in a Pod - Friendship idiom
Peas in a Pod - Friendship idiom

The saying “thick as thieves” means the same thing. Thieves have to be loyal to each other to avoid arrest. They share secret wrongdoing and the important goal of keeping it secret!

A shoulder to cry on

Some friends are especially sympathetic and easy to talk to. They are not judgmental or impatient. They are good at sharing our pain, which helps ease our pain. A friend like this is often called “a shoulder to cry on.” We can go to this person with a problem or sadness and they provide comfort.

Alyssa is such a great shoulder to cry on.

To hit it off

“To hit it off” with someone means to immediately like or get along with someone. This usually happens the first time two people are meeting. They often share interests, goals, and beliefs. This can happen between friends or love interests.

Carmen and Isabel hit it off at the party and are going to a movie together today.

Mike and I did not hit it off on our first date but we are going to try once more.

Thanks for the question from the friend group in Turkey. Hope it helps you all through thick and thin!

And that’s Ask a Teacher.

What question do you have about American English? Send us an email at

I’m Jill Robbins.

And I’m Greg Stachel.

Gregory Stachel wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.


Words in This Story

pea podn. a part of a plant that holds small, round, green seeds called peas

comfort n. a state or feeling of being less worried, upset, frightened, etc., during a time of trouble or emotional pain

shouldern. the part of your body where your arm is connected

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