In my mother language when someone tends to imply that they respect or love someone else too much, they can figuratively say e.g:

  • I worship my mother / my husband, etc.

Does it sound natural in English to say the same thing or does it sound idiomatically unnatural? I would be really thankful if you let me know the most natural equivalent in English if it doesn't work.

  • To say you "worship" your partner as a (hetero) man sounds clingy and strange, as a woman, it sounds possibly abusive. I wouldn't say ig Sep 18, 2016 at 22:49

4 Answers 4


Worship would be felt odd here, because it implies not only love but deep reverence. However, adore (which originally meant the same thing as worship) has mostly lost its religious sense and may be used to express extravagant affection.

  • Thank you very much StoneyB. So you mean that it would not sound idiomatically unnatural to say something like: "I adore my mother / my teacher / my wife etc." Right? :)
    – A-friend
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:20
  • 1
    @A-friend Yes, that's fine. It may be mere exaggeration, or it may be qualified: "I adore my professor, but ..." Sep 18, 2016 at 11:33

The following expression is idiomatic, and would not sound out of place.

  • I really love my mother. In fact you could say, I worship the ground she walks on

worship the ground sb walks on
to love and admire someone very much:
I worship the ground you walk on - you must know that by now.

Cambridge Dictionary

  • This phrase has the implication "she can do no wrong". It is often used of others who fail to see a person's faults: He worships the ground she walks on.
    – TimR
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:27
  • @TRomano Good point, but it's often just a hyperbolic statement. It probably explains why I've never heard my son say this about me to anyone. But who knows, maybe in private :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:29
  • 1
    But he might adore you, even if he does not worship the ground you walk on.
    – TimR
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:31
  • I don't disagree with your answer, only with the Cambridge definition.
    – TimR
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:34
  • @TRomano it was a toss up between Cambridge and Macmillan's definition: to love and admire someone so much that you think they are perfect
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:35

You could also consider idolize

Admire, revere, or love greatly or excessively.

‘he idolized his mother’

The word "idol" itself of course does have some original religious connotations

an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.

But it is mostly used in a secular sense these days (e.g. Pop idol)


Yes, this is idiomatic and commonplace (BrE).

When spoken aloud, there is usually an almost ironic emphasis on the word worship, as if to proclaim that you know it's a very strong thing to say and indeed mean it that way.

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