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What are some examples of idioms?

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Can you give me some examples of idioms and explain what they mean?
asked Jul 29, 2015 in Writing and Speaking by blueskies (57,070 points)
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An idiom is a type of phrase made of words that are unrelated to its overall meaning. [1]

Idioms are used in everyday language, and each language has its own idioms. They can actually be used to provide insight into a language and its speakers. [2]

American English has many idioms. Here are five examples [3]:

1. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: This idiom has nothing to do with birds and bushes. It means that it is often safer to keep what you have than to risk losing it all for something you don't.

2. A piece of cake: While it can be used to describe a cake, it typically does not. It actually describes something that can be done easily.

3. Beating around the bush: This has nothing to do with beatings and bushes. It refers to avoiding or going around the main topic.

4. Cry wolf: Despite some stories related to this phrase, it rarely has to do with wolves. It describes raising false alarms on purpose.

5. A dime a dozen: This rarely has to do with money. It describes something that is easily obtainable or common.

References:

[1] http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/idiom.htm

[2] http://omniglot.com/language/idioms/index.php

[3] http://www.idiomsite.com/
answered Jul 29, 2015 by deviousdesigner (36,530 points)
selected Jul 30, 2015 by blueskies
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There are way too many idioms in the English language to list, but it would be fun to try. Here are a few of the most common ones along with their meanings:

 

  • Time Flies means time is going by quickly 
  • Costs an Arm and a Leg means something is ridiculously expensive. [1] 
  • When Pigs Fly means something is never going to happen. Same goes for the idiom When Hell Freezes Over.
  • Let the Cat out of The Bag means to disclose a well-kept secret
  • Don't Bite off More Than You Can Chew means don't take on more than you can handle.
  • Once in a Blue Moon means something happens rarely.
  • Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch means don't count on something to happen before it does. [2]
 

1. https://voxy.com/blog/index.php/2012/02/top-10-most-common-idioms-in-english/

 

2. http://www.eslcafe.com/idioms/id-list.html

answered Aug 25, 2015 by Alexis Arden (43,230 points)
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I'm fascinated by the topic of idioms. Part of the reason for this is that I've always loved language and enjoyed studying it.

However, my curiosity was really piqued years ago when I started to learn sign language and discovered that it had its own idioms also!

Here is a list of some of the more common idioms in American Sign Language (ASL):

1.Train-Zoom-Sorry (You missed it, sorry)
2. Mind frozen (I can't think)
3. Vomit (I find it disgusting)
4. Laugh-Me? Finish (You think its funny? Its not!)
5. By-A-Hair (Just Barely)
6. Finish-Touch (I have been there/ I have done that)
7. What's up? (What's up?) or (What is happening/ What is going on?)
8. Fine(wiggle) (Neat/Cool)
9.Big Head (Arrogant/Rude)
10. Gobble-Up (consume excessively)

Those idioms are demonstrated and explained in this video:


References:

1. http://www.sorensonvrs.com/aware2014_idioms_in_asl

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idioms_in_American_Sign_Language
answered Sep 6, 2015 by AndreaM (20,510 points)
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There are two main kinds of idioms. With the first, like "its raining cats and dogs," you have to look for the deeper meaning in the statement [1]. It is not literally raining cats and dogs; what the person means is that it is pouring rain outside. In the second kind of idiom, the grammatical structure of the statement is uncommon, like "long time, no see."

 

Here are a few examples:

 

1. Piece of cake

 

2. Hit the books

 

3. When pigs fly

 

4. Bite off more than you can chew

 

5. Break a leg

 

 

Infographic: http://www.myenglishteacher.eu/blog/knowledge-idioms-10-idioms-you-cant-live-without-infographic/

 

[1] https://www.sbcc.edu/clrc/files/wl/downloads/UnderstandingIdioms.pdf

 

Additional Reference:

 

https://voxy.com/blog/index.php/2012/02/top-10-most-common-idioms-in-english/

answered Sep 6, 2015 by Unckelli (50,310 points)

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