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10 Kiss Idioms Explained to ESL Students

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Kerlyn is a Filipina writer who has studied English. She wants to share her insights with new learners.

Read on to discover 10 common English kissing idioms. As an ESL student, these idioms will help you further understand conversational aspects of the English language.

Read on to discover 10 common English kissing idioms. As an ESL student, these idioms will help you further understand conversational aspects of the English language.

What Is an Idiom?

Idioms or idiomatic expressions are widely used in the English language as a way for native English speakers to say something in abstract or metaphorical ways. They have meanings that are figurative and therefore not literal.

Many English as a Second Language (ESL) learners have a great deal of trouble understanding idioms. This is because the definitions of idioms are embedded in the culture of native English speakers. Unfortunately, not too many ESL learners have been immersed in this culture.

Below is a list of the ten most common idioms about kissing. Since there are about 25,000 idioms in the English language, students of English should use this list as a starting place and learn further idiomatic expressions beyond its scope.

10 Common English Kiss Idioms

  1. Kiss and make up
  2. Seal with a kiss
  3. Blow someone a kiss
  4. Kiss and tell
  5. Kiss something goodbye
  6. Kiss the dust
  7. Kiss of death
  8. Give someone the kiss of life
  9. Kiss up to someone
  10. Kissing cousins

1. Kiss and Make Up

The idiomatic expression kiss and make up means to become friends again after a mean fight or argument. Kiss and make up also denotes a happy ending to an otherwise bad incident.


This is silly. We fought over something petty. Why don’t we just kiss and make up?

2. Seal With a Kiss

The idiom seal with a kiss refers to sending something with lots of affection and carefulness. Oftentimes, people write love letters and seal them with a kiss.


Laura sealed her letter with a kiss. She is sending it to Barry who is halfway across the world helping his country win a war in a foreign land.

3. Blow Someone a Kiss

To blow someone a kiss suggests using the hands and mouth to send and blow a kiss toward another person. Blowing someone a kiss is a pantomime or a form of communication by gestures.


She blew him a kiss and waved goodbye before boarding her plane bound for Barcelona.

4. Kiss and Tell

People who kiss and tell discuss personal matters or secrets about other people they know very well. People who kiss and tell just cannot stop spilling secrets.


Ever a private person, the first lady refuses to kiss and tell despite her well-publicized marriage troubles.

5. Kiss Something Goodbye

Kiss something goodbye is an idiom that insinuates losing or ending something. It often refers to closing moments.

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He wants a healthy lifestyle so he kissed smoking goodbye.

6. Kiss the Dust

Kiss the dust is an idiom that implies falling on the ground because of death, sickness, or failure.


After long years in hiding, the fugitive finally kissed the dust when he was killed while trying to evade the FBI.

7. Kiss of Death

A kiss of death is a happening that causes something to result in failure or disappointment. A kiss of death is generally regarded as a negative action or event.


Hiring her as a marketing manager is a kiss of death for this company. She has a record of failures.

8. Give Someone the Kiss of Life

The idiom give someone the kiss of life means to give a person a chance to live again by giving them CPR or by simply rescuing them. This can also refer to an action that saves a failing pursuit or mission.


The lifeguard quickly gave the lady the kiss of life after she was rescued on the isolated beach.

The new CEO gave the company the kiss of life, pulling it out of its terrible financial state.

9. Kiss Up to Someone

The idiomatic expression kiss up to someone suggests flattering a person in order to get some favors. Kissing up to someone is not a positive thing to do because it entails giving false praises.


He had to kiss up to his boss to bag the promotion and land the coveted position.

10. Kissing Cousins

Kissing cousins is an idiom that refers to individuals who are related by blood and who are very close to one another, to the point that they can kiss each other as a greeting when they meet.

This idiom sometimes also refers to younger relatives who become attracted to one another.


Pedra is a kissing cousin of the first lady. They grew up together but have not seen each other since they were kids.

Sophie and her cousin Charlie were both 13 and spent a lot of time together. They accidentally ended up liking each other and became kissing cousins.

Sex and Kissing Idioms

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 kerlynb


Mugdad on January 07, 2020:

Would you please send me more references on your papers

Marlowe on September 06, 2017:

Thanks for making my home work a pie of cake

maddot from Northern NSW, Australia on November 08, 2011:

using this tomorrow with my class..thanks

Injured lamb on November 08, 2011:

Thanks for sharing the kisses with us kerlynb, I love that "seal with a kiss" much...and actually, I always do use it...voted you up! Cheers!

Hubertsvoice on November 08, 2011:

Another great class, but if I may #6 is actually bite the dust. The correct one would be on the lines of "When the police caught up with him, he put his head between his legs and kissed his butt goodbye'

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on November 08, 2011:

@SimpleGiftsofLove You're very kind Linda :) Thank you so much!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on November 08, 2011:

@plinka Oh hello there! Glad you stopped by my hub :) Thanks so much for the comment!

SimpleGiftsofLove from Colorado on November 08, 2011:

I love these Kerlyn...great hub, up and interesting

plinka from Budapest, Hungary on November 08, 2011:

Interesting hub! "Kiss of death" is the same in Hungarian. Voted up!

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