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  1. HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Apr 2005
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    Asking about the idioms in the list

    I have taken a look at this website's idiom list, I think there's one thing missing - examples.

    I guess it's too much work for the webmasters and editors to add examples for all idioms in the list, so I'll just ask about the idioms I have hard time understanding.

    About face - can you give me some examples? it just sounds so weird to me that I don't know where and how to put this into use, even though I get the meaning of it.

    Ambulance chaser - I don't like how it sounds. Does it have cynical tone?

    As cool as a cucumber - where does this come from? I don't think there's any attribute about cucumber you can say cool about. I may even have taken it as an insult if someone told me I'm as cool as a cucumber.

    Banana republic - can Cuba fall into this catagory?

    sixty-four-thousand-dollar-question: is this expression still alive and active? or is this almost obsolete? And why just $64,000 when you can put a few more zeros behind? any story behind it?

    Thank you very much!

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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      • British English
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    Re: Asking about the idioms in the list

    About face- Happens often in politics, etc. Tony Blair used to be against nuclear arms, nuclear power, etc, and now?
    Ambulance chaser= cynical
    Cucumber- no idea, but cucumber is cooling.
    Cuba- probably
    Old quiz shows gave away less money

    • Join Date: Jun 2005
    • Posts: 5

    Re: Asking about the idioms in the list

    You can google "idiomatic expressions" and you will get a list of online idiom dictionaries with examples and explanations

  3. #4

    Wink Re: Asking about the idioms in the list

    "About Face" is also a military command used to turn a person 180 degrees from his/her original position.

    Don't know which use appeared first.

  4. #5

    Re: Asking about the idioms in the list

    The "64,000 dollar question" came from a television quiz show in the 50's or 60' (ended by a scandal).

    As you worked your way through the questions, becoming progressively more difficult, you (with some luck and talent) arrived at the highest possible dollar amount that you could win .. $64,000.

    You still hear it a lot from people over 45 or 50 years old.

    Journalists often use the phrase, even though (based on their appearance) they must be considerably younger than the ages I mentioned.

    Their use of the phrase might be the factor extending it's useful life.


    An ambulance chaser was a lawyer that probably was not talented enough to acquire customers in the normal way, so they listened to the emergency radio frequencies (at that time, such activity was only authorized in the US), hoping to find a victim that wanted to sue the party causing the injury.

    I am not sure about cynical .. but it shows a lack of respect for the person's career abilities.

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