Figures of Speech that Would Look or Feel Weird If They Were Literal

The Top Ten
1 Talking your head off

Although it was hard to decide between this and "sweating bullets," this would look creepy and feel weird. More people would be quiet if you could literally talk your head off.

Hey, maybe it would get people to stop talking.

2 Eating your heart out

Although this is a common phrase, it would be pretty hard to do and equally as painful as sweating bullets, if not more painful.

3 Sweating bullets

For one thing, this would be incredibly painful. Also, it would just look weird.

4 Having fire in your belly

I imagine this would make heartburn feel like a minor problem. Your guts would literally be burning.

5 Opening your heart

I think this is known as "open-heart surgery."

6 Racking your brain

Depending on which definition of "racking" you use, this could mean putting your brain on a rack (which would look and feel very weird) or simply giving yourself a headache.

7 Being frozen in fear

The normal definition is actually a pretty common thing, but taken literally, you'd be encased in ice and would probably get frostbite. This would be terrible.

But this one is literal. They're just using a different definition of frozen.

Well, it's a different kind of frozen in this sense.

8 Having a broken heart

You can actually die from "having a broken heart." It's called broken heart syndrome, and it's associated with being stressed and other strong emotions. It can happen suddenly, but that's extremely rare.

As ordinary as this sounds, if you actually had a vital organ in more than one piece, I can't say I find it likely that you'd live to tell the tale.

Hmm. In reality, that means you're dead.

9 Wearing your heart on your sleeve

Imagine... it's more likely to get broken this way. Keep your heart close to your chest. It really is so much safer.

10 Butterflies in your stomach

I don't know what that would feel like.

The Contenders
11 Jumping out of your skin
12 Having your head in the clouds
13 Being as fast as lightning

That would be unbearably fast. You would constantly crash into things.

Although this is actually something that would be cool, it would look like you're Quicksilver's child.

14 Catching your foot in your mouth

I don't know a lot of people, including me, who can do this (it still looks weird, obviously).

You have to be made of Play-Doh to accomplish this one.

Well, I mean, I can get my foot up to my mouth, but I can't put it in my mouth.

15 Being as thin as a twig

I actually fall under this category in the normal context, but if this were literal, you could throw people like myself around like rag dolls.

16 Beating a dead horse

A good way to get animal rights advocates bugging you.

17 Snarling at someone

I would gladly snarl at someone if they deserved it.

Unless you're a dog, this would look weird.

18 Food for thought

This could easily be literal. It would just be different from what the saying actually means. That is, your mind would work better due to having had enough to eat.

19 Being caught red-handed

Although I wouldn't call this a bizarre reality (especially if the person caught red-handed was stealing red paint), it would be kind of weird to suddenly have red hands.

20 Puking rainbows

When something is so cute that you "puke rainbows," that wouldn't look weird if it were literal at all.

21 Having one foot in the grave
22 Stopping dead in your tracks
23 Spilling your guts
24 Drowning in tears
25 Chasing Shadows
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