Kick your heels


      • waiting idly
        To wait around with nothing to do, often due to a delay or lack of activity

      • wasting time
        To spend time in a purposeless or unproductive manner, often while waiting for something

    Examples of Kick your heels

    • Sarah had been looking forward to her vacation in Hawaii for months, but due to unforeseen circumstances, her flight was delayed by a day. With nothing else to do, she found herself kicking her heels at the airport lounge, waiting for her name to appear on the departure board.

      To kick your heels means to have nothing to do and be restless or bored. In this example, Sarah is literally tapping her feet or kicking them to pass the time, but it's also a figurative expression for feeling unproductive and impatient.

    • She had nowhere to go, so she decided to kick her heels at the bus stop for a while.

      The expression "kick your heels" means to wait aimlessly or impatiently in a specific place. In this example, the woman had no particular destination in mind, so she chose to wait at the bus stop and pass the time by pacing or tapping her heels against the ground as a sign of restlessness.

    • The kids were stuck indoors because of the rain, and they didn't know what to do, so they decided to kick their heels until the storm passed.

      Here, the kids are literally kicking their heels, perhaps out of frustration and boredom, while they wait for the rain to stop. They are not doing anything productive or useful during this time, as indicated by the phrase "kick their heels."

    • He has been kicking his heels around the office for weeks, but he hasn't been given any new projects.

      In this example, the phrase "kick your heels" is used figuratively to mean being idle, unproductive, and without a clear direction or purpose. The speaker here highlights that the person in question has been wandering around the office aimlessly, without any specific task or project to occupy him.

    • The tourists had planned to go on a long hike, but they got lost in the forest and didn't know where to go, so they decided to kick their heels until they found their way back.

      Similar to the previous examples, being lost in the woods is a situation that leaves people with nothing to do but wait. Thus, the tourists resort to "kicking their heels," waiting and hoping that they will eventually be rescued or figure out a way to navigate their way back to civilization.


    The idiom "kick your heels" is used to describe the act of waiting idly or wasting time. It can be used to express frustration or impatience with a situation that is causing a delay or lack of activity. It can also convey a sense of boredom or unproductivity.

    In both meanings, the idiom implies a sense of restlessness or dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. It can be used in a lighthearted or slightly exasperated manner to convey the feeling of being idle or unoccupied.

    Overall, "kick your heels" is a colorful and expressive way to describe waiting around with nothing to do or spending time in a purposeless manner.

    Origin of "Kick your heels"

    The origin of the idiom "kick your heels" is unclear, but it likely stems from the literal action of kicking one's heels while waiting or being idle. The image of someone tapping their heels on the ground in frustration or impatience could have led to the figurative use of the phrase to describe waiting idly.

    The idiom may also draw on the idea of kicking up one's heels, which can mean to relax or enjoy oneself. In the context of waiting idly or wasting time, the idiom "kick your heels" takes on a more negative connotation, suggesting a sense of restlessness or dissatisfaction with the current situation. Overall, the origin of the idiom likely comes from the physical action of kicking one's heels, which has been figuratively applied to the concept of waiting idly or wasting time.