I would say that 20-30% of my conversations within my family unit includes an idiom of some sort. It’s the just the way I was raised, my grandmother riddled them off as if they were in fact standardise English. As for me? I just use them to confuse my kids…It is makes me seem wiser than my years to know the meaning of so many random phrases, as they put it, meaningless phrases. Here are 16 I use regularly, along with their meanings.
1.Ball is in your court (It is up to you to make the next decision or step)
-This is usually used during an interrogation of some kind, I ask a question hoping for a confession.
2. Barking up the wrong tree (Looking in the wrong place. Accusing the wrong person)
-Usually used to settle an argument, as most teenagers go. There’s always an argument of some kind involving a piece of clothing or shoes.
3. Be glad to see the back of (Be happy when a person leaves.)
-Usually uttered under the breath at some visitor who’s over stayed their welcome.
4. Beat around the bush (Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.)
-Used to cut a long conversation short, usually a phone or Skype call
5. Best of both worlds (Meaning: All the advantages.)
-What I pray for daily!
6. Best thing since sliced bread (A good invention or innovation. A good idea or plan.)
-Generally used to describe the internet, because it actually is the ‘best thing since slice bread.’
7. Bite off more than you can chew (To take on a task that is way to big
-Probably one of my favourite, as I’m continuously preaching this at one or both offspring.
8. Blessing in disguise (Something good that isn’t recognised at first.)
-This is so true for some of the people I’ve meet since relocating to Scotland; and I often reiterate the same
9. Burn the midnight oil (To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting)
-Relayed to my sister almost every night as she forgets the 5hr time difference between us.
10. Can’t judge a book by its cover (Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.)
-As I’m constantly trying to get my offsprings to understand this, it’s become a standard part of my vocabulary.
11. Caught between a rock and a hard place (When someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives.)
-Presently living this one right now.
12. Cross that bridge when you come to it (Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before.)
-Small chants to myself on a daily basis. It’s just another way of reminding myself to live in the moment.
14. Curiosity killed the cat (Being Inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.)
-This is two folds for me, as I say Curiosity killed the cat, but stratification did being him back!
15. Devil’s Advocate (To present a counter argument)
-I’m the self ordained Devil’s Advocate of Facebook, so I’m always tossing this around on there.
16. Don’t count your chickens before the eggs have hatched (This idiom is used to express “Don’t make plans for something that might not happen”.)
-Another one constantly being tossed to my offsprings, as they continue to count those unhatched eggs.
What are some idioms or phrase you tend to use regularly??
*And on most days here in Scotland, it is ‘raining cats and dogs!’
© Etta D. Ricards