Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: common idioms

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 823
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    common idioms

    Hi there,
    I want to ask if the following underlined idioms, expressions or words are still popular among English native speakers.


    1. spill the beans
    2. The plumber simply gave the job a lick and a promise.
    3. His good connections make him an ideal rainmaker.
    4. He is a fly in the ointment.

    Thanks
    pete

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Ireland
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 182
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: common idioms

    The first and fourth is certainly used commonly. I am from Ireland and have lived in Britain for a long time and have never heard 2 or 3.

    Maybe another native speaker can verify or comment?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,425
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: common idioms

    1. With how people talk to each other in movies these days - rough, macho - and in the face of 'ratted', 'opened his big mouth', 'opened his fat trap', 'spill your guts', then 'spill the beans' sounds namby-pamby and I wonder if it still has much currency.

    2. I remember this from my youth, and I think only the more elderly would know and use this idiom. You might like to resurrect it amongst your crowd- it's a good one.

    3 American Philosophical Association:biographical memoirs
    For Lew’s firm, it was a matter of no little consequence that he was, in the current idiom, a rainmaker par excellence. Still, it would be a
    fundamental mistake to measure his worth to the firm only by the number and importance of the clients he attracted.

    I have never heard this idiom before. Will keep searching.
    Last edited by David L.; 06-Apr-2008 at 09:13.

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: common idioms

    A "lick and a promise" is quite old and dated, it is used very rarely today. It means to do something in a quick, cursory way, with little regard for detail.

    "Rainmaker" is more or less an industry-specific term; it is used to describe a lawyer or attorney who has a knack for using his connections and calling in favors to bring in a lot of business to his firm.

  2. Neillythere's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 537
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: common idioms

    As an old (and maybe dated) Brit, but not a teacher, I can relate to all except the "rainmaker". Maybe I haven't watched enough "Boston Legal or LA Law!.

    I would have no problem using 1 & 4, nowadays.
    2 is a ~ maybe, but not 3.

Similar Threads

  1. [Idiom] What are the most common Idioms in English?
    By AliJaffar in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2008, 17:05
  2. Colourful idioms
    By sophie100 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 27-Jun-2007, 10:33
  3. Colourful idioms
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Jun-2007, 20:56
  4. the most common phrasal verbs and idioms
    By njanja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-May-2006, 13:47
  5. low common denominator?
    By Eway in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-Feb-2006, 00:27

Posting Permissions

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