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    #1

    Meanings of these idioms

    Hi there, I want to know the meaning of the following idioms and a sentence of each one so I can know how to use it. I've searched them but couldn't find anything. (the last two just a sentence, or correction of the meaning)

    In my hair

    Shooting off your mouth

    jump down my throat

    pay through your nose

    pull your leg

    stick your neck out for someone

    all thumbs

    not have a leg to stand on

    get off my back

    keep an eye on someopne or something

    that's for the birds

    straight from the horses mouth

    horsing around

    cat got your tongue- If someone asks if the cat has got your tongue, they want to know why you are not speaking when they think you should.

    play it by ear - If you play it by ear, you don't have a plan of action, but decide what to do as events take shape.

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    #2

    Re: Meanings of these idioms

    Hi yope,

    in someone's hair

    Annoying or bothering someone. For example, She was constantly in my hair, overseeing everything I did, or Dad was working on taxes, and the children were getting in his hair. This expression alludes to entangling one's hair. [Mid-1800s] The antonym, out of someone's hair, is often used as an imperative, as in Get out of my hair!

    shoot off one's mouth


    Speak indiscreetly; also, brag or boast. For example, Now don't go shooting off your mouth about it; it's supposed to be a surprise, or Terry is always shooting off his mouth about how many languages he speaks.

    jump down someone's throat


    Strongly criticize, reprimand or disagree with someone. For example, Just because I admitted to being there, you needn't jump down my throat.
    pay through the nose

    Pay an excessive amount for something, as in We paid through the nose for that vacation. The origin of this term has been lost. Possibly it alludes to the Danish nose tax, imposed in Ireland in the 9th century, whereby delinquent taxpayers were punished by having their noses slit.
    pull someone's leg

    Play a joke on, tease, as in Are you serious about moving back in or are you pulling my leg? This term is thought to allude to tripping someone by so holding a stick or other object that one of his legs is pulled back.

    stick one's neck out

    Make oneself vulnerable, take a risk, as in I'm going to stick my neck out and ask for a raise. This expression probably alludes to a chicken extending its neck before being slaughtered.

    all thumbs

    Physically awkward, especially with respect to the hands, as in When it comes to knitting, Mary is all thumbs.

    without a leg to stand on

    With no chance of success, as in He tried to get the town to change the street lights, but because there was no money in the budget he found himself without a leg to stand on. A related idiom is not have a leg to stand on, as in Once the detective exposed his false alibi, he didn't have a leg to stand on. This metaphoric idiom transfers lack of physical support to arguments or theories.

    for the birds

    Worthless, not to be taken seriously, no good. For example, This conference is for the birds--let's leave now. This term has been said to allude to horse droppings from which birds would extract seeds. This seemingly fanciful theory is borne out by a more vulgar version of this idiom, shit for the birds.

    Straight from the horse's mouth

    Straight from the horse's mouth is an idiomatic saying which means (inter alia) "the original source."

    horse around

    To behave in a rowdy, improper, or unruly fashion: act up, carry on, misbehave. Informal cut up.

    (idiom) Indulge in frivolous activity or play. For example, The boys were horsing around all afternoon. This term presumably alludes to horseplay, which has meant "rough or boisterous play"

    cat got one's tongue

    A comment made when someone is unaccountably or unusually quiet, as in We haven't heard from you all morning--has the cat got your tongue? Often put as a question, this term originally was used mainly with a child who did something wrong and refused to answer any questions. Today it is used more generally to ask anyone to speak.
    play it by ear

    Play it by ear" is an idiom meaning to improvise, act spontaneously, to do something which has not been planned.

    Regards.


    V.
    Last edited by vil; 03-Mar-2008 at 07:46.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #3

    Re: Meanings of these idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by yope View Post
    Hi there, I want to know the meaning of the following idioms and a sentence of each one so I can know how to use it. I've searched them but couldn't find anything. (the last two just a sentence, or correction of the meaning)

    Here are the definitions for the following idioms:

    In my hair- someone is bothering me

    Shooting off your mouth- when someone speaks without thinking

    jump down my throat- when a person gets angry with you and they begin yelling at you

    pay through your nose- when you pay a large amount of money for something

    pull your leg- when someone is joking with you

    stick your neck out for someone- when you take a risk on anothers behalf

    all thumbs- someone who is very clumsy

    not have a leg to stand on- when a person does not have factual information to support their claim

    get off my back- this refers to when you want someone that is bothering you to leave you alone

    keep an eye on someopne or something- to watch someone or something so as to have a heightened awarness of change

    that's for the birds- refers to when something is nonsense

    straight from the horses mouth- referes to when when information is given by the original source/person

    horsing around- when someone is joking or teasing another person

    cat got your tongue- when you are unable to speak due to shock or bewilderment

    play it by ear - If you play it by ear, you don't have a plan of action, but decide what to do as events take shape.

    I did not post a sentence as the previous poster had already giving you an example. However, I thought that these simple definitions might help.

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