free printable rebus puzzles for ESL

216 free printable rebus puzzles

Free printable rebus puzzles

Updated 5/10/2022. Some new tricky rebus puzzles that are suitable for adults have been added (sheet 18)

These rebus puzzles are a stimulating activity for higher-level ESL learners. They get students thinking laterally and provide enjoyable mental exercise.

Initially, students may find them quite hard but once they get the idea of them they find them much easier. It is best to introduce the concept before handing out the rebus puzzles. Give examples on the board like – CHmadeINA (made in China), IN VADERS (space invaders), and (I love you) by drawing an eye, a heart, and the letter U.

You may also need to give clues for some of the harder ones and you can also make it a group or class exercise and have students work together. Sometimes it works well to draw the 12 blank rectangles on the board and if a student or team has an answer they can run up and write there themselves.

If you like these puzzles, you will for sure want to see the new printable brain teasers with answers pages.

The answers for sheet 1 above are as follows –

1 – For once in my life (four ones in my life)

2 – Forget it

3 – Try to understand

4 – Travel overseas or overseas travel

5 – Breakfast

6 – Downtown

7 – Eyeshadow

8 – Stepfather

9 – Once upon a time

10 – Potatoes (pot 8 O’s)

11 – 3D movie

12 – Top secret

Rebus puzzle definition

What’s a rebus puzzle? Well, a rebus is a representation of words, phrases, sounds or syllables by images of objects, letters, numbers or symbols. More simply, the pictures or symbols of a rebus represent and express sounds and words.

The word rebus come from the Latin expression – “Non verbis, sed rebus”. This means – Not by words but by things.  A basic example is the combination of the pictures of an eye, a heart, a sun, and a flower to mean – I love sunflowers.

Rebuses have been around for a long time. During medieval times they were used on coats of arms by noblemen and knights to show family names. People often used pictures of objects that sounded similar to their family names. They were also used on other personal objects and buildings to show ownership. This helped illiterate people know to who things belonged.

Going further back, Ancient Egyptian writing or hieroglyphs were also read in a rebus style fashion.

The use of rebuses as puzzles for a fun activity became popular in France during the 16th century before spreading further around Europe. Not long after during the Edo period they also came into use in Japan.

Rebus puzzle sheet 2 solutions

 

1 – Trip around the world or around the world trip

2 – Lemonade

3 – Long legs

4 – advice

5 – Spaceman

6 – Big bad wolf

7 – Many thanks or thanks a lot

8 – Download

9 – No idea

10 – Comfortable

11 – Forty years

12 – Excuse me

Rebus puzzle sheet 3 solutions

 

1 – Forehead

2 – Good looking

3 – Waterfall

4 – Wake up

5 – Tuna fish

6 – Foreign language

7 – Seahorse

8 – Middle-aged

9 – Broken heart

10 – Seesaw

11 – Miss you or missing you

12 – Teabag

Rebus puzzle sheet 4 solutions

1 – Four-wheel drive

2 – Apple pie

3 – Up to  you

4 – Robin Hood

5 – Design

6 – Engineer

7 – Vegetables

8 – Afternoon tea

9 – Camping overnight

10 – Time to go

11 – Long time no see

12 – Polite

Rebus puzzle worksheet 5 solutions

1 – Fishing hook

2 – Farm animal/Animal farm

3 – Touchdown

4 – Honeybee

5 – Cornerstone

6 – Love at first sight

7 – Freeze over

8 – Caveman/Mancave

9 – Catwalk

10 – Hiking in the woods (High king)

11 – Sandbox

12 – Lovebirds

Rebus Puzzle printable 6 answers

1 – Crossbow

2 – Eggs over easy

3 – Coffee break

4 – Multiple choice

5 – Come into season

6 – I’ll get over it

7 – Raincheck

8 – I’m bigger than you

9 – Illegal (ill eagle)

10 – Double agent

11 – Rock n roll

12 – Good afternoon

Rebus puzzle worksheet 7 answers

1 – Look me in the eye

2- Electric blanket

3 – Banknote

4 – One foot in the door

5- Bookcase

6 – Five kilograms overweight

7 – Highway

8 – Way to go

9 – Toothpick

10 – Underdogs

11 – Heartbeat

12 – Light rain

Rebus puzzles free 8 solutions

1 – Sunroof

2 – X-ray

3 – Doghouse

4 – Excuse me

5 – French fry/French fries

6 – Pardon me

7 – Mousetrap

8 – Turnip

9 – Phone numbers

10 – Uproar

11 – Thunderstorm

12 – Weekend

Hard rebus puzzles 9 (places) answers

1 – Cuba

2 -Eiffel Tower

3 – Supermarket

4 – Laundromat

5 – Angkor Wat

6 – Tunnel

7 – Iran

8 – Boxing ring

9 – Mount Rushmore

10 – Finland

11 – Micronesia

12 – Hairdresser

Tricky rebus puzzles 10 answers

1 – Microscope

2 – One night stand

3 – Eye sockets

4 – Houseplant

5 – Neighbourhood

6 – Failure

7 – Headquarters

8 – Blanket

9 – Cut corners

10 – Cocktail

11 – Tennis shoes

12 – Summary

Rebus puzzles 11 answers

1 – Teacup

2 – Fly screen

3 – Metaphor

4 – Leftover/Turnover

5 – Bad influence

6 – Backhand

7 – Sunken

8 – Wise guy

9 – Stay indoors

10 – Crystallise/Crystallize

11 – Elbow

12 – New Zealand

Rebus puzzles 12 answers

1 – Unbroken

2 – Highchair

3 – Foul language

4 – Summer

5 – Cattle (cat ill)

6 – Four seasons

7 – Mutate

8 – Coloring/ For coloring

9 – Indian food

10 – The underdog

11 – The birds and the bees

12 – Tripod.

Rebus puzzles 13 answers

1 – Pecan nuts

2 – Seasoning

3 – Karaoke (carry ok)

4 – Easel

5 – Horsefly

6 – Shotgun

7 – Discount

8 – Shoplift

9 – Sidekicks

10 – Gum tree

11 – Keep your eyes on the ball

12 – Fortunate

Rebus puzzles 14 answers

1 – Shake a leg

2 – Hot under the collar

3 – Sweet tooth

4 – An old hand

5 – A bone to pick

6 – To be in a pickle

7 – Fingers crossed

8 – See eye to eye

9 – Backburner

10 – Sixth sense

11 – Breaking point

12 – On second thought

Rebus puzzles 15 answers

1 – Word of mouth

2 – A chain of events

3 – Sleep on it

4 – Jockey for position

5 – Hit the hay

6 – All in a days work

7 – Door to door

8 – Draw blood

9 – A flash in the pan

10 – A barrel of laughs

11 – Two ships passing in the night

12 – Safe and sound

Rebus puzzles 16 answers

1 – Holy man

2 – Be on time

3 – Trillion

4 – Peasants

5 – Backpedal

6 – Forecast

7 – Noodles

8 – Surface

9 – Launder money

10 – Peace on earth

11 – Hand in hand

12 – Beetroot

Rebus puzzles 17 answers

1 – India (In D ah)

2 – Lunatics

3 – Mayonnaise

4 -Elbows

5 – Administrator

6 – Entree

7 – Leftovers

8 – Domino

9 – Rampant

10 – Cold beer

11 – Canine

12 – July (jewel eye)

Rebus puzzles 18 answers

1 – Capacitator

2 – Integrate

3 – Noisy

4 – No one to call

5 – Fishwife

6 – Escape

7 – Seasoning

8 – Spacesuit

9 – Wide awake

10 – Limestone

11 – Snowed

12 – Canoe

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