Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn high scoring idioms for fame and celebrities, both common topics on IELTS.

Although it doesn’t seem like an academic IELTS topic, there are often questions on IELTS related to fame.

This could come up anywhere on IELTS Speaking or IELTS Writing Task 2.




For example:

  • Speaking Part 1: Who is your favorite actor?
  • Part 2: Describe a famous person in your country.
  • Part 3: How are the ways people get famous different today than in the past?
  • Writing Task 2: When a person becomes very wealthy and famous, do they lose their right to privacy?

One interesting parallel expression for ‘fame’ is stardom.


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High-Scoring Idioms for Fame

One-hit wonder– person/band that had only one hit song (or movie)

The band Felly was a one-hit wonder in the 90’s, with the song Pump Up the Jam.

Wear many different hats– able to play many different characters

Johnny Depp can wear many different hats, from British pirate to Cuban poet.

Household name– person who everyone knows

Unfortunately, the Kardashians are a household name in the States.

A has-been/ all washed up– person who was famous but is not doing any good work anymore

The New Kids on the Block are all has-beens, except for Donnie Wahlberg, who has a reality TV show and has been in a couple movies.

Limelight– fame

The actress Elisabeth Moss is in the limelight now, after starring in The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

Choose 2-3 of today’s phrases, and practice using them in your IELTS answers. You can use the questions stated at the beginning of this article!

How would you use today’s vocabulary?

Share your example sentences in the comments section below!

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