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  1. #1
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Dictionary of English Idioms

    We are pleased to announce the new Dictionary of English Idioms, which contains hundreds of definitions of common idioms and idiomatic expressions.

    See: http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/

  2. #2
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Dictionary of English Idioms

    Hello Red5,

    Thank you for the link. The dictionary is fantastic, not only as an excellent reference, but also as a place to browse at leisure. I pick a letter of alphabet, at random, and go through the entries, just for fun. Some sayings look familiar, many don't.

    Today's letter is 'N', and I love the one: 'Not enough room to swing a cat'.

    I have a comment on 'Not my cup of tea.' The explanation says if something is not your cup of tea it means that you don't like it very much. I'm pretty sure I've seen it in a context where it was clear that the meaning was 'beyond someone's scope of interest, activity or expertise.' May I ask what your opinion on this issue is?

    Regards,

    Tee Kay

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Dictionary of English Idioms

    That's not the way I've heard 'cup of tea' used. The origins of 'swing a cat' refer to a whip called the cat of nine tails- sailors were whipped on the deck, because cabins were small and there wasn't enough room to swing a cat.

  4. #4
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Dictionary of English Idioms

    Thank you, Tdol.

    I suspected it wasn't about swinging a pet-cat in a space-lacking room, but didn't know the true origins of the saying.

    Clearly, I was wrong about the 'not my cup of tea' saying...(sigh).

    Regards,

    Tee Kay

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Dictionary of English Idioms

    Let the cat out of the bag also refers to the whip, which was kept in a, wait for it, bag.

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