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Idioms

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Jana Jurukovska

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Idioms

A fait accompli – If something is a fait accompli, it is certain to happen.

• Quid pro quo – If you do something as a quid pro quo, you do it on the understanding that something will be done for you in return.

• Vis – a – vis- you can say vis – a – vis instead of saying “in relation to”

• An act of God – something like an earthquake or a tornado can be called an act of God

• Carte blanche – if you give someone carte blanche, you give them freedom to do whatever they want in a situation

• A volte – face – you change your opinion or your decision about something to the exact opposite of what it was
• itchy feet- If you have itchy feet, you feel the need to go somewhere different or do something different.

• just the ticket- You can say something is just the ticket if it's the perfect thing or if it's exactly what's needed.

• off your own bat- If you do something off your own bat, you do it without being asked to or told to.

IDIOMS
An idiom is a phrase whose meaning is different from the meanings of each word considered separately

Latin: idioma, "special property", f.

Greek: – idiōma, "special feature, special phrasing", f. Greek: – idios, "one’s own"


- It can have a literal meaning in one situation and a different idiomatic meaning in another situation.

-It is a phrase which does not always follow the normal rules of meaning and grammar.

-These phrases have a fixed form – they usually cannot be changed – and they are often informal, but they can also be slang, rude slang, or even slightly formal.
-Many idioms are used in spoken English, but they also appear in newspapers and magazines, in books, and even in academic writing.

-There are thousands of idioms and they occur frequently in all languages.

-There are estimated to be at least twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions in the English language.

-Many English idioms are similar to expressions in other languages and can be easy for a learner to understand. Other idioms come from older phrases which have
changed over time.

100 Most Frequently Used English Idioms
How These Idioms Were Chosen?
-Which idioms to learn and which idioms to teach is important for both students and teachers.

-While this decision can be made in a random manner, a better way is to examine a specific collection of English material and decide which idioms are the most frequently found.

-A specific collection of material is called a corpus (the plural is corpora).

-The MICASE corpus is a collection of recorded speech from the University of Michigan in the United States.

-The material includes lectures, casual office discussions and group study sessions in various faculties of the university.

-The material is taken from this particular style of naturally occurring academic English.
COLOUR IDIOMS
in the black
- to be successful or profitable
Our company has been in the black since they began to cut costs.

black out
- to lose consciousness
The man blacked out during the parade and he had to sit down and rest.

- a temporary situation where you do not release some information
The government decided to have a blackout regarding the political prisoner.

- to darken a room or building by turning off the lights
During the war, people in the cities were forced to black out their windows so nobody could see them.

Black eye, black market, black box, black sheep, black book

get the blues/have the blues
- to become/be sad or depressed
The dull cloudy weather has caused me to get the blues.
The man next door seems to have the blues.

out of the blue
- without any warning, by surprise (like something that comes out of a blue sky)
My friend decided out of the blue to quit his job and go to Europe.
blue blood
- the blood of a noble or wealthy or aristocratic family
Many of the blue bloods of the town went to the opening of the opera.
get gray hair
- to have one's hair turn gray from stress
Our teacher is getting gray hair from stress.

a gray area
- something that is not clearly defined
The issue of the tax on children's toys is a gray area for the accountant.

gray matter
- brains, intelligence
I wish that my friend would use his gray matter more effectively when he is making his crazy plans.

green
- to be inexperienced or immature
The young man is rather green and does not have enough experience to drive the large machinery.
get the green light/give (someone) the green light/have the green light
- to receive/give/have a signal/permission to start or continue/proceed with something
We got the green light to begin a study of the security problems at our school.
The city gave us the green light to begin the new project.
The company finally has the green light to start the project.
green belt
- an area of fields and trees around a town
Our city has a policy to increase the green belt around the city.
in the pink (of condition)
- in very good health
My grandmother was in the pink of condition when I saw her.

see pink elephants
- to see things which are not really there because they are only in your imagination
The man was seeing pink elephants according to those who listened to his story.

see the world through rose-colored glasses
- to see only the good things about something, to be too optimistic
The man sees the world through rose-colored glasses and thinks that everything is wonderful.
in the red
- to be in debt, to be unprofitable
The company has been in the red for three years now.

out of the red
- out of debt
Our company is finally out of the red and we are now making money.

see red
- to become very angry
My boss saw red when I told him that I would not be coming to work today.
whitewash (something)
- to cover up or gloss over faults or errors or wrongdoing
The government was accused of trying to whitewash the scandal about the illegal money.
white lie
- a harmless or small lie told to be polite or to avoid hurting someone's feelings
I told my supervisor a white lie yesterday and said that I was sick when actually I was not.

white sale
- the selling of towels or sheets at a reduced price
We went to the white sale at the department store to buy some new sheets.
golden opportunity
-the perfect chance
The models' conference was a golden opportunity for me to sell my beauty products.
once in a blue moon
-very rarely
We only go out for dinner once in a blue moon.
true colours
-real self
Suzanne doesn't show her true colours when we have guests over.
yellow-bellied
- extremely timid, cowardly
The man is yellow-bellied and is never willing to fight for what is right.
black and blue

- bruised


My shoulder was black and blue after I fell down the stairs.

cat gets one`s tongue

- one cannot speak because of shyness

The cat got the woman's tongue and she could not say anything at all.

let the cat out of the bag
- to tell something that is supposed to be a secret
The teacher let the cat out of the bag when she began talking about the plans to close the school.

Holy cow
- used to express strong feelings of astonishment or pleasure or anger
"Holy cow," the man said when he saw the car that hit the street lamp.

take the bull by the horns
- to take decisive and direct action
My aunt decided to take the bull by the horns and begin preparations for the family reunion.

dog days
-very hot days
I sleep in the basement during the dog days of August.
every dog has his day
- everyone will have his chance or turn, everyone will get what he deserves
"Don`t worry about him. Every dog has his day and he will eventually suffer for all the bad things that he is doing."
lead a dog`s life
- to lead a miserable life
The man is leading a dog`s life since he married the woman who everyone told him not to marry.

hold one`s horses
- to wait, to be patient
"Hold your horses for a moment while I make a phone call."


straight from the horse's mouth
-directly from the original source
I know Jenny is pregnant, because I heard it straight from the horse's mouth.
donkey's years
- a very long time

I was happy to see my friend because I had not seen her in donkey's years.


monkey see, monkey do
- someone copies something that someone else does

It is monkey see, monkey do for the boy. He copies everything that his friend does.

monkey around with (someone or something)

- to play with or waste time with someone or something
The boy spent the morning monkeying around with the old radio.


horse around

- to play around (in a rough way)
The teacher told the children not to horse around while they were getting ready for class.

cry wolf
- to give a false alarm, to warn of a danger that is not there
The man is crying wolf. There is no danger from the electrical system.

wolf down (something)
- to gulp down something, to eat something quickly
I wolfed down my dinner and left the house for the movie.

rat race
- a rushed and confusing way of living that does not seem to have a purpose
fierce, competitive struggle for power, position etc
My uncle is tired of being in the rat race every day. He plans to quit his job soon and do something else.

rat on (someone)
- to report someone's bad behavior to someone
The little boy ratted on his friend at school.

rat out on (someone)
- to desert or betray someone
The boy ratted out on his friends. Now they won`t talk to him.


fishy
-odd, suspicious
I knew something fishy was going on when I saw all of my friends' cars in my mom's driveway.
get the lion's share
-get the greatest percentage
My aunt got the lion's share of the inheritance.
pig out
-eat a lot of something
I pigged out on pancakes so I don't have room for lunch.
(a) little bird told me
-I heard something (usually secretive or unknown) from someone (not named)
A little bird told me that you are thinking of quitting your job.

-
kill two birds with one stone
-get two things done at once
If you pick the groceries up when you drop George off for his shift, you will kill two birds with one stone.
chicken out
-to decide not to do something out of fear (usually just before)
I was going to take a ride on Geoff's motorcycle, but I chickened out when he gave me a helmet to wear.
dropping like flies
-dying/giving up quickly
My roses are dropping like flies in this early frost.
ants in one's pants
-unable to sit still or remain calm out of nervousness or excitement Lisa had ants in her pants the day before her interview.
in the dog house
-in trouble with another person
I don't think Marsha is coming out tonight. She's still in the dog house for forgetting Aaron's birthday.
in fine feather
-in good humor
My friend is in fine feather today. He has been laughing all morning.

talk turkey
- to talk frankly, to talk business
I went to see my friend because I knew that it was time to talk turkey with him.


ANIMAL IDIOMS
black and white
- either good or bad, either one way or the other way, oversimplified
Our boss sees everything in black and white.
n black and white
- in writing, officially
I put down my complaint in black and white.

put (something) down in black and white
- to write the details of a contract or something on paper
I asked the buyer to put the offer to buy my car down in black and white.

white-tie event/affair
- an event that requires guests to wear formal dress such as men wearing white bow ties with formal evening dress
I attended a white-tie dinner in honor of the president of our university.
black-tie event/affair
- a formal event where guests wear semi-formal clothes with men wearing black bow ties with tuxedos or dinner jackets
The award ceremony for the movie awards was a black-tie affair.

raise a white flag
- to indicate that you have been defeated and that you want to give up
The soldiers raised a white flag and surrendered to the enemy.

wave a white flag
- to indicate that you have been defeated and that you want to give up
The soldiers were waving a white flag when they surrendered to the enemy.
a red flag
- a signal that something is not working properly or correctly
The fallen trees along the road raised a red flag for the safety inspectors.
BODY IDIOMS
a head

- for one person, for one individual (used for counting people or animals like cattle)

"The tickets were only a few dollars a head."
bad hair day


- a day when everything seems to go wrong (just like when you cannot make your hair look attractive)

Yesterday was a bad hair day and everything went wrong for me.
blow (someone`s) mind


- to overwhelm or excite someone

My friend told me that the new book will blow my mind.

fall flat on one's face

- to be completely unsuccessful

I fell flat on my face when I tried to make a speech at the wedding.
bend (someone's) ear

- to talk to someone (usually in an annoying or persistent manner)

I met my friend this morning and she bent my ear about her problems at work.
apple of (someone`s) eye

- someone's favorite person or thing

The young girl is the apple of her father`s eye.

win by a nose

- to win by a very small amount

The horse won by a nose in the horse race.
live from hand to mouth

- to live on very little money

My friend has been living from hand to mouth since he lost his job.
dead from the neck up

- to be very stupid

My boss seems to be dead from the neck up.

put one's shoulder to the wheel

- to get busy and do some work

We must put our shoulders to the wheel and get our work done early.
not have the stomach for (something)

- to have no desire to do something because you think that it is unpleasant or wrong

I do not have the stomach to talk with my friend about his work and financial problems.
give one`s right arm for (something)

- to give something of great value for something else

I would give my right arm for a chance to go to Florida with my friend next month.
have elbow room

- to have enough space

We have much elbow room in our new house.
burn one`s fingers

- to be harmed by something, to suffer the consequences of one's actions

My father burned his fingers in the stock market and he does not want to invest money there again.
to the bone

- entirely, to the core

I was wet to the bone after walking in the rain for two hours.
save (someone`s) skin

- to save someone from danger or trouble or embarrassment

The worker tried to save his own skin without thinking about other people.
skin and bones

- a person or animal that is very thin or skinny

The dog was skin and bones after his owner stopped giving him food.
Break a leg!

Fig. Good luck!
-A special theatrical way of wishing a performer good luck. Saying "good luck" is considered by actors to be bad luck.

"Break a leg!" shouted the stage manager to the heroine. Let's all go and do our best. Break a leg!
pull someone's leg

-to play a joke on them by saying something that isn't true.

Joe was just pulling your leg when he said he was going spaghetti picking. Spaghetti doesn't really grow on trees, Sally.
blood is thicker than water

- family members are closer to one another than to others

Blood is thicker than water and people usually support and help their family in times of trouble.
at the top of one`s lungs

- with a very loud voice

I yelled at the top of my lungs to get the man's attention.

a breath of fresh air

- new ideas or new energy or new ways of doing something

The new manager is a breath of fresh air in our company.
EDUCATION and SCHOOL IDIOMS
cut class

- to not go to class

I decided to cut class in order to study for my geography test.

drop out of school

- to stop attending school

My friend dropped out of school and began to drive a truck.
Ivy League

- a small group of older and famous eastern United States colleges and universities such as Harvard and Yale and Princeton

Several of the company executives went to an Ivy League school.
work one's way through college

- to work at a job to help pay for your college or university expenses

My brother worked his way through college at the local supermarket.
take the roll

- to call the names of students in an attendance book and expect them to answer if they are there

The teacher took the roll and then we started the lesson.
learn (something) by heart

- to memorize something so that you can repeat it without thinking

The children learned all of the songs by heart for the school play.

learn (something) by rote

- to learn or memorize something without thinking about it

We learned many verbs by rote in the foreign language class.
compare apples and oranges


- to compare two things that are not similar and should not be compared

It was like comparing apples and oranges when we compared our new boss to our old boss.
FOOD IDIOMS
bread and butter

- one's income or job used to buy the basic needs of life like food or shelter or clothing

Most people are worried about bread-and-butter issues like jobs and taxes.
piece of cake

- a task that is easily accomplished

The job was a piece of cake. I finished before lunch.

bitter pill to swallow

- something unpleasant that one must accept

It was a bitter pill to swallow when I learned that I would not get the new job.
have a lot on one's plate

- to have a lot of things to do or deal with

I have a lot on my plate this week and I am very busy.

lay an egg

- to give a bad performance of something

The singer laid an egg during her concert last evening.

for peanuts

- for very little money, for almost nothing

I was able to buy a used computer for peanuts.
hot potato

- a question or argument that is controversial and difficult to settle

The issue of building the nuclear power plant is a hot potato for the town council.
eat humble pie

- to be humbled, to admit one`s error and apologize

Our boss was forced to eat humble pie after he made the wrong budget estimate for next year.
armed to the teeth

- fully armed, having many weapons

The robbers were armed to the teeth when they robbed the bank.

bite one's tongue

- to try hard not to say something that you would like to say (often used when you want to criticize someone)

I always bite my tongue when I am talking with my aunt so that I do not say the wrong thing and make her angry.
Formal idioms
• A fait accompli – If something is a fait accompli, it is certain to happen.
• Quid pro quo – If you do something as a quid pro quo, you do it on the understanding that something will be done for you in return.
• Vis – a – vis- you can say vis – a – vis instead of saying “in relation to”
• An act of God – something like an earthquake or a tornado can be called an act of God
• Carte blanche – if you give someone carte blanche, you give them freedom to do whatever they want in a situation
• A volte – face – you change your opinion or your decision about something to the exact opposite of what it was
• Eprit de corps – a feeling of pride and comradeship shared by members of a group such as a military unit or a sports team.
• Raison-d’ětre– your reason for living or the most important thing in your life.
• De rigeur– if something is de rigeur, it is necessary to have if you want to be fashionable or be accepted into a particular social scene.




• No way! - You can say "No way!" when you want to strongly reject an offer, a request, or a suggestion.
• zero tolerance - If something is given zero tolerance, it won't be accepted even once.

• yellow journalism - Journalism in which sensational stories are used to boost sales, or biased reporting is used to change the reader's views on an issue. Both of these are unethical.

• a done deal - A done deal is an agreement or a decision that is final.

• going down - If you know what's going down, you know what's happening in a situation.
American idioms
British Idioms

Same form, same meaning
• a new lease on life- If someone has a new lease on life, they have a new enthusiasm for living.
• at loose ends - If you're at loose ends, you feel restless and unsettled because you don't have anything to do.
Used in UK and USA
Same meaning, but slightly different form
• can't see the forest for the trees - If you can't see the forest for the trees, you can't see the whole situation clearly because you're looking too closely at small details, or because you're too closely involved. (USA)
• can't see the wood for the trees- If you can't see the wood for the trees, you can't see the whole situation clearly because you're looking too closely at small details, or because you're too closely involved. (UK)
• a drop in the bucket - If an amount is a drop in the bucket, it's a very small portion of the amount that's needed. (USA)
• a drop in the ocean- If an amount is a drop in the ocean, it's a very small portion of the amount that's needed. (UK)
Same form, different meaning
• an ax to grind- If you have an ax to grind with someone, you have a problem with them, or a complaint against them, which you'd like to discuss. (USA)
• an axe to grind- If you have an axe to grind, you have a strong opinion about something and you express this opinion whenever you can. (UK)
THANK YOU KINDLY !
There he stood, smiling like a Cheshire cat, waiting for his weekly pay.
smiling like a Cheshire cat
Fig. smiling very broadly.
(Alludes to a grinning cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.)
Done by:
Jurukovska Jana 4812
Dimitrievska Andrijana 4814
REFERENCES:
-Jackson, H., Amvela, Z.E. (2000). Words, Meaning and Vocabulary. London: Continuum.

-Stefanovski, Lj. (2006). English Lexicology: A coursebook. Skopje.

-http://books.google.mk/books?id=phQ9Fyx1lPsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=idioms+in+english&hl=en&sa=X&ei=G0aaUvKZOMyihgfAy4HoCA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=idioms%20in%20english&f=false

-http://books.google.mk/books?id=ytJNRDL0zDgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

-http://www.idiomconnection.com/

-http://www.englishclub.com/ref/Idioms/

-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English-language_idioms


-Different idioms will be used in a novel or a news report or a scientific paper. Therefore, any list of idioms will be different depending on the English corpus that is used to make that list.

-However, most corpora contain idioms that are common to all corpora and any list will include idioms that are found in all language material.
-There are many corpora available. These include:
-The Collins Cobuild Corpus in the United Kingdom and
-The Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English (MICASE) in the United States.
IDIOMS
MEL: LEXICOLOGY, VII SEMESTER
Mentor:
Prof. Dr. Petrovska Irina
Bitola, 2013
• take the mickey | mick out of someone- If you're taking the mickey out of someone, or taking the mick out of them, you're making fun of them or copying their behaviour for a laugh.

• make a song and dance about something - If you make a song and dance about something, you make a big deal out of, or a fuss over, something that isn't very important.

• right up your street- If something is right up your street, it would be perfect for you or ideal for your skills and interests.
• the new kid on the block - If you are the new kid on the block, you are the newest person in a workplace or in an educational institute, or any other place or organization.

• hit the hay | hit the sack - If you hit the hay, or hit the sack, you go to bed.

• jockey for position- If you jockey for position, you try to get yourself in a good position in relation to others who're competing for the same opportunity or the same goal.

• right down your alley | right up your alley- If something is right down your alley, or right up your alley, it would be perfect for you or ideal for your skills and interests.

• Eprit de corps – a feeling of pride and comradeship shared by members of a group such as a military unit or a sports team.

• Raison-d’ětre– your reason for living or the most important thing in your life.

• De rigeur– if something is de rigeur, it is necessary to have if you want to be fashionable or be accepted into a particular social scene.
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