Household words


      • well-known and familiar
        Describing something or someone that is widely recognized and commonly known by many people

      • everyday language
        Referring to words or phrases that are commonly used in everyday conversation or communication

    Examples of Household words

    • The library was bustling with household words as people chatted and exchanged ideas over books.

      In this example, "household words" is being used idiomatically to refer to commonly used words or terms that are widely known and understood within a community, similar to the way household items are familiar and accessible to those living together in a house. Here, "household words" describes the typical vocabulary used by people during conversations in a familiar and comfortable setting like a library.

    • Sarah tried to explain the newer technological terms to her grandmother, who found them confusing and unfamiliar, unlike the household words she was accustomed to.

      In this example, Sarah uses "household words" to describe the ordinary and familiar language that her grandmother is accustomed to hearing and speaking. She contrasts this with newer technological terms that her grandmother has not learned or been exposed to, demonstrating the idiom's metaphorical meaning of familiar and widespread language.

    • After a long day of work, Jessica came home and found comfort in the familiar sound of household words spoken by her family, which reminded her of her childhood memories.

      In this example, "household words" refers to the everyday language spoken by Jessica's family, which has a sentimental and nostalgic significance to her. It contrasts with the unfamiliar and impersonal language of work or business, emphasizing the importance of familial communication and the familiarity of language in creating a sense of home and belonging.

    • The news anchor used household words to help explain the complex political and economic issues that the general public might not understand, making the ideas more accessible and relatable.

      In this example, "household words" is being used to describe the type of language that is easy to comprehend and understand, even for people who are not experts in the field being discussed. It exemplifies the idiom's metaphorical meaning of everyday and easily comprehensible language that is familiar to most people. Here, the use of household words facilitates communication, making it more accessible to the audience that might not have a background in the topic being discussed.

    • The media is making a mountain out of a molehill.

      This idiom, "making a mountain out of a molehill", means to exaggerate or make a bigger deal out of something that is not important or serious. In this example, the media is creating unnecessary drama or excitement about a trivial matter.

    • Every cloud has a silver lining.

      This idiom, "every cloud has a silver lining", is used to express the idea that even in challenging or negative situations, there are potential positive outcomes or opportunities. In other words, it implies that there is always a bright side or a positive aspect to every difficult situation.

    • It's like pulling teeth.

      This idiom, "it's like pulling teeth", is used to describe a painful or difficult process. In this example, it could mean that a certain task or process is extremely challenging or uncomfortable, just as pulling teeth is a painful dental procedure.

    • He's the cat's meow.

      This idiom, "he's the cat's meow", is used to describe someone who is impressive, attractive, or desirable. It’s origin is not clear, but it might have been used to describe a perfectly groomed cat. The "meow" would be the sound the cat makes when it's in its best form. In this case, the person being described is considered to be the best of the best, just like the cat's perfectly clean and well-kept form.


    The idiom "household words" can be used to describe something or someone that is well-known and familiar to many people. It can also refer to words or phrases that are commonly used in everyday language. Overall, the idiom conveys the idea of widespread recognition and common usage.

    Origin of "Household words"

    The origin of the idiom "household words" can be traced back to Shakespeare's play "Henry V," in which the phrase was used to describe the names of famous English kings. Over time, the meaning of the idiom expanded to encompass not only famous names, but also any well-known and familiar words or phrases. The idiom reflects the idea that certain words or names have become so widely recognized and commonly used that they are like a part of every household. Today, the idiom is still used to convey the notion of widespread familiarity and common usage.