Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to review my interpretations of five idioms which caught my attention when reading a random dialog?
“What’s up? You look so sad!”
“I’m nearly out of my mind with worry about that younger brother of mine. He doesn’t prepare his lessons nowadays and every now and then he cuts his clauses. He may have even begun smoking for all I know. The long and the short of it is that he has got out of hand. I’m at my wits end. What must I do?”
“Does he have any favourite subjects at school? Subjects that really interest him?”
“Nothing apart from mathematics and chess. That’s one thing he never tires of. He’s ready to walk the whole city, just to have a chance of playing a game. I’m afraid he’ll drive me mad if I don’t put my foot down. But how, and when-that’s the trouble. He’s so touchy.”
“You should have it out with him. He’s old enough to understand things.”
“Well, I tried to. I gave him a good talking to the other day, but to no effect. He’ll become even worse. I’m sure. He’s nearly always at his friend’s place playing chess, doesn’t come home in time for his meals and seems to keep himself going on tea and cakes. I can’t put up with it any longer and that with Mother laid up in hospital. I can’t leave that little devil to his own devices.”
1. the long and the short of it = the general result or effect; all that must be said; the upshot (In the fewest words possible, in short, in brief); the substance of it; that which may be stated briefly
2. to be at one’s wits end = not to know what to do or say; quite at a loss; at the point of having exhausted one’s last idea or mental resourse
3. to put one’s foot down = to be firm in one’s attitude; to object to or protest against
4. to keep (a person) going = to keep him alive; help him with money
5. to leave a person to his own devices = to leave him alone to do what he wishes, giving him no help or advice
Thank you for your efforts.
Your interpretations are correct.