I am looking for an idiom describing a close acquaintanceship or getting on well with someone other than "like a house on fire'.

  • by close acquaintanceship, do you mean friendship? Also never heard of like a house on fire...
    – virmaior
    Jan 22, 2014 at 3:37
  • @virmaior Seems there are lots that you've never heard of! :)
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:25
  • @Kris, Notably the idiom is get on like a house on fire at least according to this question on SE ( (english.stackexchange.com/questions/45733/… ) ...
    – virmaior
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:31
  • @virmaior Yes, it is. I already provided a link at josh314's answer below.
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:40
  • Let's see - "We are a house on fire." Doesn't seem amicable to me. Seems rather contentious relationships going on, doesn't it? Jan 22, 2014 at 13:36

6 Answers 6


I've never heard "like a house on fire," so maybe I don't quite know what you mean. That said, a common idiom for quickly coming to a good relationship with someone would be "hit it off," as in "Joe and Martha just met tonight, but they really seem to be hitting it off."

[Edit]: Some others came to mind for me. Two people who are inseparable might be described as "attached at the hip." Also, two close individuals, particularly if they are similar in many ways, may be called "two peas in a pod."

  • These days we no longer hear, we find online. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+on+like+a+house+on+fire
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:28
  • 2
    @Kris Actually, we do both. Searching online is certainly a great tool, but that wouldn't mitigate the fact that I have no first-hand experience with the phrase. There are likely nuances in usage or implication which wouldn't be easily gleaned from a dictionary-style reference and could only be picked up from natural experience with the usage in verbal or written contexts. Nevertheless, thank you for the link.
    – josh314
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:58
  • @Kris BTW, if the downvote was by you, I am somewhat puzzled by that. If you care to explain, I would appreciate it.
    – josh314
    Jan 22, 2014 at 7:05
  • Yes, the down vote was indeed mine, accompanied by a relevant comment as you see. In three hours, one could Google than declare that the idiom was not known to them. Or read the other answers. I so many times spend hours thinking and reading relevant literature before understanding a Q, let alone trying to answer it. Whence the down vote.
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 7:10

The Cassell Dictionary of Cliches (1996) confirms that "get along like a house on fire" means "to get on together extremely well." A shorter (and less flamboyant) expression of the same idea is "They get along famously [or swimmingly]." Yet another is "They're hand in glove," signifying a close fit or match of interests between two people. Or you could say that they are "birds of a feather."

Another possibility is to say that the two people "take to each other like a duck to water" or that they "go together like a horse and carriage" (or like bread and butter, or peanut butter and jelly, or salt and pepper, or milk and cookies, or macaroni and cheese, or spaghetti and meatballs, or any complementary pair of things, really).

A less complimentary term for closeness is "thick as thieves."

  • Why do you say that "thick as thieves" is less complimentary?
    – Jim
    Jan 22, 2014 at 3:53
  • 1
    Only because a comparison between the particular people in question and thieves may not seem desirable or appropriate in some settings. I don't mean to say that there is no honor (or thickness) among thieves. But I have heard the expression "They're thick as thieves" used with an overtone of disapproval—in particular, by my grandmother in connection with politicians she mistrusted.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 22, 2014 at 3:59
  • +1 esp., for any complementary pair of things, really
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:27
  • 1
    Thick as thieves in my area means you are scheming with someone. Mar 14, 2014 at 6:24

hit it off

get along famously .


From Forrest Gump: "We goes together like peas and carrots."

Meaning: I love you, we belong together, we go well together.


Hot and heavy

If something or someone is hot and heavy, they are full of strong emotions or sexual feelings:

Seinfeld usage: Elaine dates a jazz saxophonist named John Jermaine and admits to Jerry that she has reservations about their dating, because John "actually, he, um, doesn't really like to do 'everything'"[1] (a reference to oral sex). In spite of this, Jerry incautiously tells one of the band members, Clyde (played by Leonard Lightfoot) that Johnny and Elaine are "pretty hot and heavy."

When Jerry tells Elaine what he said, Elaine is alarmed and shows some uncharacteristic considerateness: "I don't want John thinking that I'm hot and heavy if he's not hot and heavy. I'm trying to get a little squirrel to come over to me here. I don't wanna make any big, sudden movements. I'll frighten him away!"

like two peas in a pod

from ehow:


    Versions of the phrase "two peas in a pod" date back to as early as the 16th
century. In Tudor England, "pease" was the singular form, with the word "pea" not
coming into use until the 17th century.


Two peas in a pod is commonly used to describe best friends, twins, siblings, 
lovers or people in a close relationship who share likes and dislikes.

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