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Transcript of Idioms
Do you have a hard time picturing
yourself as a long in the tooth
grandparent one day?
Long in the tooth
Your bark is worse than your bite.
My mom yells often, but her bark is
worse than her bite.
a person's actions are not as bad as his/her threats
A chip on your shoulder
Have you ever had a chip on your shoulder for more than a month?
holding a grudge
a bump on a log
showing no reaction or action
So I stood there like a bump on a log while they surrounded me.
a chip off the old block
a child who resembles a parent in behavior, looks, and/or abilities
Have you ever considered yourself to be a chip off the old block?
size him (or her) up
Cherry looked at him, sizing him up as she had me. Then she smiled softly, and I knew she had him sized up right.
watching someone closely to determine what kind of person he/she is
A piece of cake
An especially easy task
Writing in a planner is a piece of cake for 8th grade students.
Throw in the towel
to give up; to quit
Have you ever thrown in the towel and regretted doing so?
On pins and needles
in great suspense
Are you more likely to be on pins and needles before or after taking a test?
Under the weather
On the fence
Let the cat out of the bag
sick; not well
Do you feel a little under the weather after eating so much candy?
to give away a secret
Have you ever let the cat out of the bag after someone confided in you?
Have you ever remained on the fence while your friends around you were fighting?
Pass the buck
to pass the blame to someone else;
to refuse to accept responsibility
How many times will Cole pass the buck before he realizes that he is responsible for his actions?
Pull the wool over your eyes
to fool, deceive, or trick someone
Feigning (Faking) sincerity, Cole tries to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. Is he successful?
Bury the hatchet
to make peace; to settle an argument; become friends after being enemies
Will Cole be able to bury the hatchet with his dad or his mom?
Burn your bridges (behind you)
to permanently and unpleasantly end your relationship with a
person or an organization
"I don't know what the justice system will do with you now that you've burned your bridges" (140).
Stick your neck out
Have you ever stuck your neck out for someone and later regretted doing so?
to take a risk
to regret something you did
How many times did Cole want to kick himself for destroying his shelter and supplies?
Once in a blue moon
See eye to eye
to have the same
opinion; to agree fully
Do you see eye to eye with your parents more often on your music preferences or on the amount of time you spend texting your friends?
Once in a blue moon, Ms. Adams and Mrs. Klein will not assign homework to their industrious students.
Strike a happy medium
to find a compromise
to a problem
Can you strike a happy medium with a friend or a sibling more easily? Do people know you as a person who can strike a happy medium with others in most situations?
in a very angry mood; infuriated
How can people tell when you are on the warpath?
on the warpath
If the shoe fits, wear it.
If a comment applies to you, you should admit that it is true.
Some students need to organize their binders. I'm not mentioning names, but if the shoe fits, wear it.
very loyal; faithful;
Are you a true-blue friend to all of your friends?
play devil's advocate
to pretend to be against an idea in order to make people discuss it in more detail and think about it more carefully
costs an arm and a leg
burn the midnight oil
to work late into the night
Do you appreciate or resent people who play devil's advocate with your ideas?
Have you ever purchased something with your own money that cost an arm and a leg?
Did you burn the midnight oil studying for your semester exams?
I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
to deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before
Do you worry about difficult classes in high school, or do you tell yourself that you will cross that bridge when you come to it?
steal someone's thunder
to take credit for something that someone else did OR to upstage someone; to destroy the effect of what someone does or says by doing or saying the same thing first
How do you respond when someone steals your thunder?
hit the nail on the head
do or say something exactly right
Have you ever been told that you hit the nail on the head for your words or actions?
Your heart is in the right place.
to be kind-hearted and well-meaning; to have good intentions even though mistakes occur
Bryce's heart was in the right place when he ironed his mom's shirt; he didn't mean to burn a hole in it.
Wear your heart on your sleeve
to show one's emotions and feelings openly
Do you easily wear your heart on your sleeve, or do you keep your emotions locked inside?
Have your heart in your mouth
to be extremely frightened about something
Is your heart in your mouth when you see clowns, when you visit haunted houses, or both?
in the homestretch
in the know
in the same boat
the last part of
in a similar situation
Can you believe that we are in the homestretch of third quarter already?
Are you in the know about the date of graduation and the last day of school?
When you feel miserable or annoyed, do you want others to be in the same boat?
can't cut the mustard
If you feel that you can't cut the mustard at poetry writing, you will soon change
not able to handle the task
find(ing) your feet
to become more comfortable in what you are doing
Have you found your feet as a writer this year?
turn a blind eye
to refuse to acknowledge something that you know
Would you turn a blind eye if you witnessed someone being mistreated?
sell someone out or sell someone down the river
I wouldn't trust him/her as far as I could throw him/her.
You do not trust someone at all.
How would you feel if someone you respected said that he/she wouldn't trust you as far as he/she could throw you?
to betray someone; to
How do you respond when you have been sold out by someone you trusted?
good, loyal friends
Which two characters from one
of our novels would you label
as fast friends?
Chew the fat or
Shoot the breeze
to have a casual conversation with someone; chit-chat
Can you chew the fat with someone you just met?
Take(s) the cake
the most extreme example of something, usually something bad
We have met some nefarious
characters this year, but El Patron
just might take the cake.
The whole enchilada or the whole nine yards
the whole situation;
Your graduation dance will have streamers, balloons, food, and loud music - the whole enchilada.
Back to the drawing board
Back to square one
to start over with new plans after an attempt fails
Mum's the word
to keep quiet; to say nothing
Against the clock
rushed; short on time
Are you racing against the clock
to memorize "Hope" by tomorrow?
Did you have to go back to the drawing board while writing any of your poems?
Replace "Don't tell anyone" with "Mum's the word" in your conversations from now on.
Shape up or ship out
to improve your behavior or performance or get out
One rotten apple spoils the bunch/barrel
one bad person may lead
an entire group into trouble
Your name is mud
A person who is in trouble, disgraced, or discredited; a person with a bad reputation
In your honest opinion, do you think your classmates have ever wanted you to shape up or ship out?
What action do you take when you realize that one rotten apple is spoiling the barrel within your circle of friends?
After Furball died and the ransom note was found, Matt's name was mud.
Once a person's name is mud, can he/she change that status?
Never bite the hand that feeds you
Beggars can't be choosers
Don't disrespect someone who helps you
If you can't do it yourself, then don't complain about how someone does it for you.
Wash your hands of something/someone
to end all involvement with something or someone usually because there are too many problems
How do you know when it is time to wash your hands of something or someone?
character needs to learn to never bite the hand that feeds him/her?
Have you ever whined about your dinner when you are starving but have done nothing to help purchase or prepare the meal? Remember, beggars can't be choosers.
Keep one's (your) nose to the grindstone
steadily work hard
Have you ever regretted not keeping your nose to the grindstone?
Get one's wires crossed
confused or mistaken about something
Unfortunately, Jake got his wires crossed and arrived ten minutes late for graduation.
And then some
with considerably more
You need to study and then some for semester exams!
Mad as a hatter
completely crazy; insane
Alice felt as mad as a hatter when she entered Wonderland; a world that strange surely couldn't be real.