Page 1 of 37 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 369
  1. #1
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default English Idioms and Sayings

    I have decided that it would be useful to ESL learners for them to learn some idioms and popular sayings. Please feel free to post one or more yourself.

    Re:
    • Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

    "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" is a warning not to be overly optimistic. It is an admonition that you shouldn't make plans based on things you can't control.

    Re:
    • I've got my work cut out for me.

    "I've got my work cut out for me" comes from dressmaking. After the job of cutting out the pattern had been done the work of sewing the garment remained to be done. Thus, the seamstress had her work cut out for her. (She had plenty of work to do.)

    Re:
    • Don't change horses in midstream.

    "Don't change horses in midstream." Changing horses in midstream would be a difficult job indeed. Instead, it would be much better to wait until you get to the other side. You would be taking too much of a chance to change horses while you are in midstream. It would be better and safer to wait until present difficulties are over.

    Re:
    • Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" is an admonition not to take unnecessary chances. If I were advising you not to put invest all your available money on one thing I might say that you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Re:
    • He's running around like a chickken with its head cut off.


    He doesn't know what to do. He's totally at a loss as to what to do. He's disoriented.

    Re:
    • It's time to pay the piper.


    It's time to face the consequences of your actions.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Re:
    • He has flown the coop.


    That means the individual has left and is not expected to return.

    Re:
    • It is a pie in the sky proposal.


    That means it is a wholly unrealistic idea.

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Re:
    • Stick out like a sore thumb.


    Be embarrassingly obvious. Something that sticks out like a sore thumb is so obvious that it draws attention to itself.

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Re:
    • I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.


    Meaning: "I am very hungry.

    Re:
    • It's raining cats and dogs.


    Meaning: "It's raining very hard."

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,618
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Look like the cat that got the cream.

    Meaning to look very please with oneself.

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Look like the cat that got the cream.

    Meaning to look very please[d] with oneself.
    Is that anything like the cat that swallowed the canary?

    :wink:

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,618
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The same.

  9. #9
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Re:
    • Has the cat got your tongue?


    Means: "Can't you talk?"

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    What about:
    • He's like a bull in a china shop.


    Eh?


Page 1 of 37 1234511 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk