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Archive for the ‘Idiom of the Day’ Category

English Idiom of the Day – Hold your horses

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 @ 08:03 AM
posted by Jo

Hold your horses

If someone tells you to hold your horses, you are doing something too fast and they would like you to slow down.
Example: "Hold your horses, you haven't thought about this yet." / "Hold your horses, it's not time to go yet, we have to finish one more exercise."
Did you know...?  This idiom originates in the United States of America in the 19th century and is historically related to horse riding, or driving a horse-drawn vehicle.  When a horse gets nervous or excited or is in a hurry to leave, you have to hold on to its reins.

English Idiom of the Day – Think outside the box

Monday, March 7, 2011 @ 10:03 AM
posted by Jo

Think outside the box

To think imaginatively using new ideas instead of traditional or expected ideas.

Example: You won't come up with good ideas until you think outside the box. Let's think outside the box for a minute and try to find a better solution.

Did you know...?  This idiom comes from the fact that a box, with its rigidity and squareness, symbolises constrained and unimaginative thinking.


English Idiom of the Day – Couch potato

Friday, February 25, 2011 @ 09:02 AM
posted by Jo

Couch Potato

A couch potato is an extremely lazy person who spends most of their time on the couch / sofa watching the TV and eating junk food.

Example: All he ever does is watch TV; he's become a real couch potato.

English Idiom of the Day – Tip of the Iceberg

Thursday, February 24, 2011 @ 01:02 PM
posted by Jo

Tip of the Iceberg

If something is said to be 'the tip of the iceberg' it means that something is only a small part of a much bigger problem.   The 'tip of the iceberg' is the part of a problem that can be easily observed, but not the rest of it, which is hidden.

Example: The problems that you see here now are just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous disasters waiting to happen.

Origin:  This idiom comes from the fact that only the tip of an iceberg can be seen and the rest of the iceberg, which is much larger, is underneath the water and cannot be seen.

English Idiom of the Day – Cloud Nine

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 @ 08:02 AM
posted by Jo

Cloud Nine

To be on 'cloud nine' means you are extremely happy or blissful.

Example: For a few days after I heard I'd got the job, I was on cloud nine.

Did you know...?  This idiom originates in the fact that weather experts classify cloud nine as a particular type of cloud that is white and fluffy and very high up in the sky. To be up high in the sky is likened to paradise or being happy.

Idiom with similar meaning: To be 'over the moon'

English Idiom of the Day – A black sheep

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 @ 10:02 AM
posted by Jo
A black sheep
Someone who is the black sheep doesn't fit into a group or family because their behaviour or character is bad, odd or disgraces the group.
Example: My brother was the black sheep in the family - he ran away at 16 to become an actor.
Did you know...? The idiom originated from the occasional black sheep which is born into a herd of white sheep and the fact that black sheep are less desirable than white ones because it is more difficult to dye their wool different colours.

English Idiom of the Day – Don’t push my buttons

Monday, February 21, 2011 @ 06:02 PM
posted by Jo

Don't push my buttons

"Don't push my buttons" can be said to someone who is starting to annoy you.

Example: I am not in a good mood right now. Do not push my buttons.

If someone "knows how to push your buttons", it means they have found out specific things that annoy or upset you.

Example: My mother really knows how to push my buttons!

This idiom is occasionally used in a positive way to indicate that someone knows exactly the right thing to do to get people to act the way they want.

Example: He was an extremely good speaker and knew just how to push an audience's buttons to keep them interested.

English Idiom of the Day – Busy as a bee

Friday, February 18, 2011 @ 10:02 AM
posted by Jo

Busy as a bee

If someone says you are as a busy as a bee it means you are very busy or very active.

Example: She's as busy as a bee, always going to meetings and organizing parties; The Teacher said: "I want everyone to be as busy as bees".

Did you know...?  The first recorded usage of this idiom is from well known 'Canterbury Tales' written in the 14th Century.