Life of the Party - Idioms in Context

Learn Idioms through Reading

Drinking with Friends
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Idiom: Life of the Party

Definition: Someone who everybody loves to have a party because they are so much fun!

Here is a story about Bill, who was the life of the party. At least, he was until he met his match in Janice. Unfortunately, they had a scene at a party. Read the story and use the provided definitions to help with understanding. Once you've finished and you feel confident, try the quiz to test your understanding of the idioms you have learned.


Bill Meets Janice

Bill was known as the life of the party for good reason: Any party was a lot more fun when Bill attended. I guess you could say that Bill was a man about town and knew something about everyone and everything! If Bill came to your party, you could be sure that he'd dish the dirt on somebody you knew, or at least a friend of a friend. In any case, I decided to invite Bill to one of my parties for all these reasons, as well as because he was just a nice guy to have around. Of course, some people didn't feel that way. In fact, Bill had a number of frenimes that were just waiting for him to make the wrong move, tell a story that was proven to be false, or even make him the butt of their jokes. I guess he had it coming, but I never expected that it would take place at MY party.

It's all a little hazy now, but I here's the gist of what happened... The party started off with a bang.

Almost everyone arrived and the catering was awesome. I wanted to give everyone the red-carpet treatment, so I had splashed out on a lavish spread. Some people might think it was a little over the top, but I'm a firm believer in pulling out the stops when I throw a bash. Just when everyone was enjoying themselves in walked Janice.

Janice despised Bill. It's a long story, but let's just say they weren't close. In fact, Janice had come to this party for the express purpose telling Bill off. As she states, she was was "up to here" with his ridiculous stories! Well, bill had met his match. She walked up to him and gave him the shock of his life. Try as he might to get the upper hand, she refused to let him get a word in. By the end of the tirade, Bill was clearly hot under the collar and at a loss for words. She then threw a drink in his face and stormed out of the party. Bill made some lame excuse about needing to get home and slinked off like a cat licking its wounds.

It's been a few weeks since the party, but it's yet to come to light what Janice said to Bill. All I know is that she hit him like a bolt out of the blue. He put his tail between his legs, and I haven't seen him since. It's best to let bygones be bygones, but sometimes it's just not possible. I guess that's how Janice felt.

Idioms Used in the Story

life of the party = the person that keeps everyone entertained with stories, jokes, etc.
man about town = person who knows everyone and everything going on
dish the dirt = gossip
frenemy = someone who is a friend, but also an enemy in a way
butt of a joke = the person who a joke is about
gist = main idea
start off with a bang = begin successfully
give the red-carpet treatment = treat very well
splash out = spend a lot of money on something
over the top = exaggerated, too much
pull out the stops = spare no expense
throw a bash = give a party
be up to here = be fed up, be sick and tired of something or someone
meet your match = to find a person who confronts you
give someone the shock of their life = to surprise someone greatly
get the upper hand = to get the advantage over another
to be at a loss for words = to not know what to say
like a cat licking its wounds = taking care of yourself in a defensive manner
hit someone like a bolt out of the blue = surprise, shock someone
tail between one's legs = with great embarrassment
let bygones be bygones = forget about something

Expressions Quiz

  1. Let's have a drink. You can __________ about Kevin. I want to hear all the details!
  2. I think I understand the _________ of the story.
  3. Nobody likes being the ________________. It's no fun being laughed at.
  4. We need to ___________ in order to succeed. 
  5. I'm afraid I'm ____________________. I just don't know what to say.
  6. Make sure to give Ms. Anders ____________________. She needs to feel special.
  7. Have you ever _______________ at work? 
  8. The idea ______ me _________________. It was pure genius!

Answers Quiz

  1. dish the dirt
  2. gist
  3. butt of a joke
  4. pull out the stops / splash out
  5. at a loss for words
  6. the red-carpet treatment
  7. met your match
  8. hit me like a bolt out of the blue

More Idioms and Expressions in Context Stories

Learn more expressions using stories with one or more of these further idioms in context stories with quizzes.

It's important to learn and use idioms in context. Of course, idioms are not always easy to understand. There are idiom and expression resources that can help with definitions, but reading them in short stories can also provide context that make them come more alive.