Body vocabulary Good, bad or neutral

Worksheet 1- Body idioms good, bad or neutral

Does each section below contain positive or negative body idioms?


Slip of the tongue

Pay through the nose

Look down your nose at someone/ something

Makes my blood boil


Head over heels

Give someone a hand

Head and shoulders above the others


Can’t make head or tail of it

Have cold feet

On its last legs

One foot in the grave


Take everything to heart

Put words in my mouth

Under her thumb

Lost his nerve


Feet on the ground

Get it off my chest

Give someone a big hand

See eye to eye


Head in the clouds

Put my foot in it

Get off on the wrong foot

Pull the wool over your eyes


Caught with his fingers in the till

Caught red handed

Up to my eyes in work

Brought to his/ its knees

Body vocabulary Good, bad or neutral

Worksheet 2- Body and culture good, bad or neutral

Choose one of the things below and say how acceptable or unacceptable you think it is in your country and other countries until your partner guesses which one it is. Do they agree with your opinion?

Blowing your nose in public

Sniffing so you don’t need to blow your nose

Holding hands with your boyfriend or girlfriend

Holding hands with a same sex friend

Cuddling in a park or on the beach

Eating with your hands

Eating with your left hand

Passing something with your left hand

Pointing at someone with your index finger

Eating with your arms on the table

Speaking with your mouth full

Lots of eye contact

Walking arm in arm

Touching someone’s head

Putting up your middle finger (= giving someone the bird)

Putting up two fingers (your index finger and your middle finger with your palm towards you)

A long or strong handshake

A light handshake

Grasping someone by the elbow or shoulder as you shake their hand

Putting your thumb up

Giving your same sex friends a hug

Giving your same sex friends a kiss on the cheek

A woman crossing her legs

A man crossing his legs

A man sitting with the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other

Showing cleavage (= a low cut top)

Bare shoulders

Brushing against someone’s shoulder when you get on or off a train

Covering your mouth when laughing

Using a toothpick in a restaurant

Commenting on a colleague’s weight

Clapping when you are the one being given a big hand

Raising your eyebrows to greet someone

Listening with your eyes closed

Useful languageIt’s completely tabooIt’s the kind of thing my mother told me not to doIt’s a little rudeIt’s disrespectful (to elders)

Traditionally people didn’t do this (but nowadays/ young people…)

People generally approve/ disapprove/ don’t care about this

It’s okay in some circumstances (for example…)

I think this is only okay in…

Can you think of any other things that might cause offence in other countries (especially physical things)?

Body vocabulary Good, bad or neutral

Worksheet 3- Men and women appearance good, bad or neutral

Body part/ appearance Men Women
A shaved head
Long eyelashes
A big nose
Good muscle definition
Plucked eyebrows
Bushy (= thick) eyebrows
Shaved legs
Shaved armpits
Receding hairline/ balding
Wide/ curvy hips
Dyed hair
A perm
A tattoo
Laughter lines
Hair flecked with grey
Big lips/ fat lips
Broad shoulders
Neck length hair
A ponytail
Lanky (= tall and thin)
Skinny/ just skin and bones/ slim
A little plump/ Chubby/ on the heavy side/ big boned

à        Choose if you are going to talk about men or women and tell your partner what things you think are good or bad for that group of people until they guess who you are talking about

à        Compare your list with your partner. Are there any major differences?

Discussion questions

What present trends are there in men and women’s personal appearance in your country? How is it different from the past and from other countries? How do you think that will change in the future?

How popular are diets for men and women in your country? What kinds of diets?

How many different kinds of diets do you know?

For all stages

Use the arrow below to show whether the thing you’re listening to is good or bad


PDF version for easy saving and printing: Body vocabulary Good and bad

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