English Idiom

Judge a book by its cover is a popular English idiom. It’s cautionary advice to not make assumptions or jump to conclusions based on appearances. We’ve written a short story surrounding the theme of this English idiom.

English idiom judge book cover

Judge A Book By Its Cover

It was her first time breaking the rules, sneaking out of the dormitories after hours. Her curiosity got the best of her. What was hidden within the restricted section of the school library? Rumours of ghosts and secret information became the talk of the school population. She had to see for herself.

“I wish I could come with you,” her friend had said. “I’m so curious what’s in there!”

As she peeked around the corner, she saw the guard making his last rounds before heading up the stairs. When she couldn’t hear his footsteps anymore, she lightly dashed through the hall and turned right at the last corner, unaware of the pair of eyes following her swift movements.

Expertly, she pulled a bobby pin from her hair and began picking at the lock with ease. After shuffling it a few times, she tried the knob to which it opened with ease. For a restricted section, security was lax, she thought.

After fishing the flashlight out from her pocket, she switched it on and gave a quick sweep of the area. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a light switch but didn’t dare flipping it on for fear of attracting attention.

It looked strangely ordinary. She pulled a book from the shelf and glanced at the cover: Fiends And Where To Find Them. The hideous mix of colours provoked her to place the book back in its place.

“Can I help you?” She almost jumped at the unexpected, low, monotone voice behind her. “What’s a student like yourself doing out at this hour?”

It was a professor, a professor notoriously known for his strict punishments on students.

“Well?” he prompted, his drawl sounding almost menacing.

“I… I was looking for something,” she replied hesitantly.

“In a place like this?”

She bit her bottom lip, unsure where this lie would take her.

“I suggest you head back to your dorm before I change my mind. Before she could respond, he continued, “Next time it’ll be expulsion.”

She didn’t need a second warning.

“By the way,” he began, “I would suggest keeping your secret ventures to yourself next time. Talk travels fast.”

Other English Idioms?

What other English idioms do you know of? While they are popular amongst those learning English, it’s unlikely for them to pop up in conversational English. For more English idioms, be sure to check out some phrases on our APP for fun and engaging ways to learn English!