For example, I've found the phrase "to jump out of your skin" described as a turn of phrase. But why it is not an idiom? How do we tell the difference?


It is an idiom - both expressions mean the same thing. You could also call it a metaphor, since a person doesn't literally 'jump out of their skin'.

  • An idiom is a turn of phrase with seniority. – Peter Dec 7 '20 at 10:48
  • Thanks! Do you mean that a turn of phrase and an idiom are terms that can be used interchangeably? – Darian Sandmartin Dec 7 '20 at 10:55
  • Oxford Dictionaries definition of 'turn of phrase' is : A particular or characteristic manner of expression. Example: "an awkward turn of phrase" Synonyms: expression · idiom · choice of words · word · phrase · term · locution – Kate Bunting Dec 7 '20 at 13:35

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