Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    idioms

    a lick and a promise. it's hard for me to understand this idiom can you help me please. thank you

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,499
    #2

    Re: idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by aliis View Post

    'A lick and a promise.' It's hard for me to understand this idiom.

    Can you help me please?

    Thank you.
    Welcome to the board, aliis.

    We start sentences with a capital letter.

    A lick is a quick wash and a promise is an intention to have a more thorough wash later.

    'I had to go out straight after work. I'd no time to get changed so I just had a lick and a promise.'

    'Leave those greasy dishes till later; just give them a lick and a promise.'

    Rover

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #3

    Re: idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by aliis View Post
    a lick and a promise. it's hard for me to understand this idiom can you help me please. thank you
    ********** NOT a teacher **********

    Dear Member Aliis,

    (1) To lick = to use your tongue.

    (a) For example, if the meal is super delicious, I might lick the plate so

    that I get every little bit of food on the plate. Of course, that is not

    very polite!!! When I put a stamp on an envelope, I have to lick the

    stamp (which has glue) before I apply it to the envelope.

    (2) So a lick and a promise means to do something in a way that

    is not thorough (complete). Maybe you are too busy or maybe you

    do not like that activity.

    (a) For example, I hate vacuuming the rooms in my house. But every

    month I give every room a lick and a promise.

    In other words, I do a very bad job. I vacuum the easy parts of the

    rooms, and I promise myself that I will do a better job later, but

    -- of course -- I never do.

    THANK YOU

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #4

    Re: idioms

    Hi eliis,

    Here is my passing interpretation of the phrase in question:

    a lick and a promise = a superficial effort made without care or enthusiasm

    (This expression is believed to allude to the quick lick a cat or other animal might give itself and a promise to do more or better at some future time.)

    You didn’t wash your hands. You just gave them a lick and a promise.

    And further dust was everywhere. .. Sophia’s lip curled, and instinctively she lifted her peignoir. One of her mother’s phrases came into her head: “a lick and a promise.”

    Regards,

    V.

Similar Threads

  1. Idioms
    By Steven Tan in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-Oct-2007, 12:11
  2. idioms
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2007, 00:04
  3. idioms
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Oct-2007, 22:54
  4. idioms
    By Shelby Gibson in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2007, 19:31

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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