The American English language has an entirely unique set of nuances that differ from other native English-speaking countries. You start to see these differences in how common expressions, or idioms, come out in everyday conversations. For example, if someone deceives you, an Australian person would say you let them ‘pull the wool over your eyes.’ In America, we would say that they ‘pulled a fast one on you.’ There are hundreds of examples of these, but we will look at American idioms by category to help break them down. The category in this article is American love idioms!
Idioms are concise snippets of language meant to render immediate understanding between two parties. A simple expression is much more powerful than explaining what you mean in plain words. This is why they are so common in languages across the world! More often than not, we don’t even realize we’re saying them …
I grew up in the United States, so all of these idioms are hand-picked by me as something a native speaker would actually say. I know the US is a massive country, and not every region uses the same expressions, but I am confident that I have a broad grasp of the language you’d hear in any corner of the United States.
How many have you heard of? Let’s begin to unpack these love idioms and their wacky origin stories. Time to learn something new!
Love Idioms In American English
Ah, love, the magical force that makes our hearts go pitter-patter, and our heads go all mushy. It’s a universal language that transcends borders, and every culture has its own unique way of expressing affection. In the realm of American English, we have our fair share of love idioms that are as quirky as they are endearing.
Many movies that dominate the big screens are romantic comedies based in the United States. In these Hollywood blockbusters, you’ll often hear love idioms sprinkled within the main character’s dialogue. There’s no shortage of love idioms used in American English … don’t believe me? Grab a box of chocolates and get ready to dive into these ten delightful love idioms!
Meaning: Excessively affectionate or sentimental
Use it in a sentence: “Every time they’re together, they become all lovey-dovey, grossing the rest of us out.”
Origin story: Derived from the cooing sounds made by doves, which are often associated with love and romance. Doves are the #1 animal associated with love!
#2: To Fall Head Over Heels
Meaning: Deeply in love
Use it in a sentence: “Ever since they met, she’s been head over heels for him, and it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t even exist!”
Origin story: It’s a playful inversion of the phrase “heels over head,” implying a complete reversal of gravity when struck by love! Love does make you crazy, eh?
#3: Love At First Sight
Meaning: Falling in love instantly upon seeing someone for the first time
Use it in a sentence: “She experienced love at first sight when she spotted that dreamy barista at the coffee shop.”
Origin story: This idiom dates back to the ancient Greeks (like a lot of these love idioms), who believed in the concept of “love’s arrows” that struck people’s hearts at first glance. There are many idioms about arrows of love, which we will discuss in length later in this article.
#4: Butterflies In My Stomach
Meaning: Feeling nervous or excited in the presence of someone you love
Use it in a sentence: “Whenever he’s around, I get butterflies in my stomach, and my words turn into a jumbled mess.”
Origin story: The fluttery feeling in the stomach is likened to the fluttering wings of butterflies. *You can also use this expression when you’re nervous about something besides romantic love! It is a common idiom used in multiple facets.
#5: Love Is Blind
Meaning: Love overlooks flaws or shortcomings (Yes, this is where the Netflix show got its title!)
Use it in a sentence: “Even though Will has got the fashion sense of a toddler, she’s so smitten with him that love is clearly blind.”
Origin story: This phrase can be traced back to William Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” and has become a popular idiom ever since! Shakespeare really is the king of love idioms!
#6: Cupid’s Arrow
Meaning: Falling in love unexpectedly or without control
Use it in a sentence: “Sydney was going about her business when Cupid’s arrow struck her, leaving her completely smitten.”
Origin story: In Roman mythology, Cupid was the god of love who would shoot arrows at people, causing them to fall madly in love.
Meaning: A couple who are very much in love and affectionate
Use it in a sentence: “They’re such lovebirds that nothing can pull them apart!”
Origin story: Lovebirds are small parrots known for their affectionate behavior toward their mates. Did you know that parrots were so romantic?
#8: Swept Off My Feet
Meaning: Being overwhelmed by love or infatuation
Use it in a sentence: “When Tom showed up with a bouquet of roses and tickets to Paris, he completely swept her off her feet.”
Origin story: This idiom draws inspiration from the notion of someone being lifted off their feet by a strong gust of wind, similar to the whirlwind of emotions experienced when falling madly in love. Usually, lovers do this at the beginning of a relationship to woo their partner.
#9: Love Is A Battlefield
Meaning: Love can be a challenging and tumultuous experience
Use it in a sentence: “After going through a series of horrible heartbreaks, Sadie realized that love is indeed a battlefield.”
Origin story: Popularized by the 1983 song “Love Is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar, this idiom captures the ups and downs of a romantic relationship and the inevitable loss of heartbreak that most people experience.
Meaning: Being deeply and overwhelmingly in love
Use it in a sentence: “Ever since she laid eyes on him, she’s been love-struck, floating on a cloud of bliss.”
Origin story: The term “struck” refers to being hit suddenly and intensely, as if struck by lightning. When you’re love-struck, love hits you with such force that it leaves you dazed and enchanted.
So there you have it, tons of love idioms that will add a touch of whimsy and romance to your English vocabulary. Remember, language learning is not just about grammar and vocabulary; it’s also about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of culture and expressions. So go forth, embrace these idioms, and let your love language flourish like a bouquet of roses on a sunny day!
Rapid Fire Round Of Romantic Idioms About Love
Want more examples of love idioms? Let’s dive into a rapid round of love expressions and how to use them in a sentence. Hopefully, you’ll be able to deduce the meanings of these 20+ phrases and get more practice on how these expressions work in American English!
11. Love is a rollercoaster: Love has its ups and downs | “Their relationship is like a rollercoaster, with drama at every turn.”
12. Love is a wild ride: Love is unpredictable and exciting | “Buckle up, folks, because love is a wild ride, and you never know where it’ll take you.”
13. Love is like a box of chocolates: Love is full of surprises | “As Forrest Gump said, ‘Love is like a box of chocolates,’ and you never know what you’re gonna get.”
14. Puppy love: Infatuation experienced by young love | “Ah, it’s just puppy love, it will not last long-term.”
15. Love-hate relationship: A twisted relationship with conflicting emotions | “They have a love-hate relationship, constantly swinging between passionate affection and fierce fighting.”
16. Love triangle: A romantic involvement between three people | “Things got messy when a love triangle formed, and no one knew what would happen next.”
17. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all: It’s worth experiencing love, even if it ends in heartbreak | “Sure, it didn’t work out, but hey, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, right?”
18. Love makes the world go round: Love is the driving force behind everything | “They say love makes the world go round, and I believe it to be true too.”
19. Heartthrob: A person who is attractive and causes romantic feelings in others | “He’s the heartthrob of the office with his cool style and charming smile.”
20. Love potion: Something that enhances romantic emotions | “She sprinkled some magical love potion on him, and suddenly, he couldn’t stop thinking about her.”
21. My heart skipped a beat. Feeling nervous or excited about what a lover did | “When he walked into the room, my heart skipped a beat.”
22. Love-struck: Deeply infatuated with someone | “Ever since she met him, she’s been love-struck, tripping over her words whenever he’s around.”
23. Love nest: A cozy place shared by a couple | “They transformed their apartment into a love nest, complete with fairy lights and a snuggle-worthy couch.”
24. Love conquers all: Love can overcome any obstacles | “They faced countless hurdles, but their love conquered all, and they ended up together long term.”
25. Love is in the air: A feeling of love being present | “Spring is here, and love is also in the air.”
26. Love seat: A small sofa or chair for two people to sit close together | “They snuggled up on the love seat, watching their favorite movie together.”
27. Love potion: A drink or concoction believed to inspire love | “She brewed a love potion, hoping to win the heart of her crush.”
28. First love: The initial experience of romance and love | “First love is like a rollercoaster ride—thrilling, terrifying, and fun.”
29. Lovesick: Feeling ill or melancholic due to unrequited love | “Ever since their breakup, he’s been lovesick, moping around like a sad puppy.”
30. Love bug: A term of endearment for someone who is deeply in love | She’s been bitten by the love bug, and she can’t stop talking and thinking about her new boyfriend.”
31. Love shack: A small and cozy place where couples can escape and be alone |”They rented a love shack by the beach, where they could enjoy each other’s company and forget about the world.”
32. Whisper sweet nothings: To whisper love words to your partner | “He whispered sweet nothings to her the whole dinner date.”
33. Match Made In Heaven: When two people seem perfectly suited to each other | “They are both professional swimmers, so it’s truly a match made in heaven!”
34. Old Flame: When a past lover comes back into your life | “Her old flame from college moved back to town, and I wonder if they will get back together.”
What Was Your Favorite American Love Idiom?
So there you have it, tons of love idioms that will add a touch of whimsy and romance to your English idioms and vocabulary. What was your favorite? Mine are “love bug” and “better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.”
Remember, language learning is not just about grammar and vocabulary; it’s also about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of culture and expressions. So go forth, embrace these American love idioms, and let your love language flourish like a bouquet of roses on a sunny day!
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