Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Does your heart race when you get excited?

Lindsay and Aubrey share in today’s episode four English idioms you can use to describe when you are excited.

Listen in today and learn how to show your enthusiasm in English.

Heart Beating Faster

Lindsay asks Aubrey when was the last time her heart was racing.

Aubrey shares that recently her daughter, Penelope, scared her.

They watched the movie The Ring and they enjoyed it.

A few minutes after watching it, they were getting ready to go to bed.

Aubrey was getting a glass of water and her daughter was hiding behind a door and jumped out to surprise her.

She was so shocked and so scared.

Her heart definitely beat faster when that happened.

Lindsay laughed and said that was a great commitment by her daughter to wait for her behind the door and jump out at the perfect time.

The reason Lindsay asked this is because today’s episode is inspired by an All Ears English listener’s question related to the heart “racing.”

Here is the question:

“I’m Seng Chung from South Korea. I listen to your podcast every day on my way to school. It’s so instructive and I love your show. By the way, I have a question about the phrase “my heart is racing.” Is it okay to use this phrase when I’m excited or is this phrase only used when I’m scared? If so, are there other phrases that I can say to show I’m excited? Thank you for reading my email and have a good day.”

Aubrey likes that this is a high-level question where Seng Chung is very intuitive to notice that idioms can be specific to different meanings and situations.

The idiom “heart is racing” is often used when describing nervousness or fear.

It has a negative connotation that you can’t use to describe the feeling of excitement or enthusiasm.

Aubrey says you can use the idiom “heart is racing” when you are about to ride a rollercoaster.

It can be fun to ride a rollercoaster but nerve-wracking as well.

Lindsay adds that it is rare that her heart races when she is happy or when she is feeling something positive.

Other Idioms About Excitement

There are other idioms you can use to describe excitement and enthusiasm.

Lindsay and Aubrey share with you four idioms you can use to share positive feelings in English conversations.

Here they are:

  • I’m stoked. Lindsay mostly thought of this phrase as California English. Aubrey agrees because before it was mostly dudes that surf who use this slang. But nowadays, it is a common phrase used to say you are excited about something.


I’m stoked to attend the concert.

When they told me I did well in the interview, I was stoked.

  • Be on the edge of one’s seat. This can be taken literally or idiomatically. This is often used to describe that you are looking forward to something and the suspense is keeping you on edge ready to know what’s going to happen next.


We are all on the edge of our seats waiting for the polls to come in on election night.

I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for a job offer.

  • Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Aubrey loves this phrase and she uses this all the time though it is not very common. Lindsay asks Aubrey if you can use this sarcastically. Aubrey says yes. The phrase bright-eyed and bushy-tailed means someone is alert and awake. You can say this in the morning after you have had your coffee. Another way to use it is in a sarcastic way where someone may seem tired and you want to point that out.


I need my coffee so I can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the meeting.

  • Raring to go. This means you are eager or enthusiastic to do something. Aubrey would often use this when she is in the car with her kids. They are often excited to go out somewhere.


We’re raring to go for this new project at work.


Now that Lindsay and Aubrey have shared examples and meanings of idioms to describe excitement, here is a quick roleplay to help you better understand how to use them.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are attending an industry conference.

Lindsay: I’m seriously stoked about the keynote speaker. I’ve heard she’s amazing.

Aubrey: Yes, a friend of mine heard her speak and said he was on the edge of his seat the entire time.

Lindsay: That is impressive! Sometimes these speakers can be pretty dull.

Aubrey: I know! I’ll wake up and be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed before a talk and when it’s not engaging before long, I’m falling asleep.

Lindsay: Oh yup, same here. I was raring to go before the talk on the first day but then it was a bit of a letdown.


It is a very common topic to talk about something that excites you.

So make sure you know how to keep up with the conversation when talking about what you’re looking forward to next week or what you have planned for a vacation.

Use today’s idioms to sound more like a native when bringing up exciting topics.

You want to convey your feelings well rather than just using the words, excited, nervous, or scared.

This will help you build better relationships by starting and continuing to engage in good conversations with your work peers and friends.

What are you excited about?

Share it in the comments below using idioms in today’s episode.

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