a students' magazine / did you know?

English Idioms : an important part of a culture

Hi everybody!

I’m a new blogger and this is my first post. I’m going to talk about English idioms.

As all other languages, also the English language has many idioms; I mean thousands of idioms, which we can’t list  in a single post or not even in an entire blog. Anyway, in this article I’m going to explain the meaning of the word “Idiom” and to introduce some of them.

Let’s start with the word. What is an “idiom”? It’s a kind of sentence that you can say in a particular situation or when something happens, to express a long message in a short phrase; but what about its meaning? We should better consider the literal and figurative meaning of an expression separately . In this case we won’t consider the first but only the second; in fact, if “you can’t keep your head above water”, it doesn’t mean that your head isn’t touching the water while you’re swimming! It means that you aren’t managing a situation well enough. When more and more people use this expression, it eventually becomes a part of the language.

Did you know? The word “Idiom” originally meant “personal, private” from the Latin”Idios”.   Its definition became “a peculiarity in language” only later, in 16th century, from the French word “Idiome”

So, here is the list of the most used idioms in English :

  1. a penny for your thoughts
  2. to add insult to injury
  3. a hot potato
  4. once in a blue moon
  5. to be caught between two stools
  6. see eye to eye
  7. to hear it on the grapevine
  8. to miss the boat
  9. to kill two birds with one stone
  10. on the ball
  11. to cut corners
  12. to hear something straight from the horse’s mouth
  13. something that costs an arm and a leg
  14. the last straw
  15. to take what someone says with a pinch of salt
  16. to sit on the fence
  17. the best of both worlds
  18. to put wool over other people’s eyes
  19. feeling a bit under the weather
  20. to speak of the devil!
  21. a bolt from the blue
  22. to be blue in the face

Their meaning? Here you are…

  1. to ask someone what he is thinking about.
  2. to make a bad situation worse.
  3. to talk about a popular topic, which many people know and speak of.
  4. to express something that happens very rarely.
  5. when someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives.
  6. this idiom is used to say that two (or more people) agree on something.
  7. this means ‘to hear a rumour’ about something or someone.
  8. this idiom is used to say that someone missed his or her chance at something.
  9. this means ‘to do two things at the same time’.
  10. when someone understands a situation well.
  11. when something is done badly to save money. For example, when someone buys products that are cheap but not of good quality.
  12. to hear something from an authoritative source.
  13. when something is very expensive.
  14. the final problem in a series of problems.
  15. this means not to take too seriously what someone is saying. There is a great possibility that what he/she is saying is only partly true.
  16. this is used when someone does not want to choose or make a decision.
  17. all the advantages.
  18. this means to deceive someone into thinking well of them.
  19. feeling slightly ill.
  20. this expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.
  21. this idiom is used to express something that happens as a complete surprise.
  22. this means that a person keeps trying to tell someone to do something for a long time but he doesn’t get the desired result.

(from http://www.englishforums.com/)

And now some idioms that are related to cats and dogs:

  1. a fat cat
  2. the cat’s got your tongue
  3. cat nap
  4. copy cat
  5. the cat’s out of the bag
  6. it’s raining cats and dogs

Meanings

  1. describes someone who is very wealthy with a kind of satisfaction about that.
  2. used when a person can’t speak during a speech because he’s tense.
  3. when you have a short nap like a cat.
  4. describes someone who does something that other people do, like mimic them.
  5. when a secret is revealed and everybody knows it.
  6. when it’s hailing and/or raining very hard.

I hope you enjoyed my first post  😉

Advertisements

One thought on “English Idioms : an important part of a culture

  1. A hearty welcome among us, englishinventor!
    A very interesting post, well done!, and a very peculiar nickname!
    Wonder what your next post is going to be about… a new amazing invention? 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s