Highlighted words / expressions in red are explained at the bottom.
An idle brain is the devil’s workshop: Someone who has nothing worthwile to think about, might come up with something bad instead.
Example: Evan: “Mum told me to start playing rugby after school as she wasn’t happy with me sitting around doing nothing all evening. She told me that an idle brain is the devil’s workshop.” Peter: “Yeah, my mum wants me to do something constructive too, after school.”
Pick someone’s brains: To ask someone a lot of questions to either find out information about something or to get their ideas about something.
Example: Sue and Chloe spent the whole afternoon sitting outside and talking to each other under the birch tree in Chloe’s garden. They were picking each other’s brains for ideas to organise Amanda’s upcoming leaving party.
Rack someone’s brains: To try very hard to think of something, or to remember something.
Example: “Stop racking your brain about where you mislaid the car keys. Use mine for now, and I’m sure you’ll remember later where you put them!”
Be the brains behind something: The person who developed / thought of something successful like an invention, a plan, a system or an organisation.
Example: Ian Fleming is the brains behind James Bond.
Be all brawn and no brains: To be physically strong, but at the same time not very intelligent.
Example: It’s a cliché that bodybuilders are all brawn and no brains.
Useful vocabulary (in alphabetical appearance)
at the same time: simultaneously
to come up with: to think of something (for example an idea, answer or solution)
leaving party: A party for someone who leaves their job
mislay: lose, misplace
upcoming: coming soon, about to take place
Important: Usually, idioms can not be translated literally, they only make sense as a whole. So if you are in doubt about how to use an idiom correctly, don’t use it.