quinta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2010


An idiom is a phrase that has a different meaning than the literal. The majority of idioms are marks of a language and can not be translated into other languages. Therefore the non-native speakers of the language may have difficulty to understand the meaning of some idioms.
Sometimes idioms can make difficult the translation of a song, text and even a movie. How many times have you seen a movie or series and a part of the subtitles simply made no sense?
Idioms are very present in daily life. In informal conversations or even in more formal situations the idioms are widely used.

Some idioms and their meanings:

Blue Moon: A rare event.
Go The Extra Mile: Going above and beyond whatever is required for the task at hand.
Head Over Heels: Very excited, especially when in love.
Lend Me Your Ear: To ask for someone's full attention.
Out Of The Blue: Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.
Raining Cats and Dogs: A very loud and noisy rain storm.
With Flying Colors: Successfully
True Colors: Without masks, in reality
A White Lie: A lie to avoid hurting somebody’s feelings
Your Guess Is As Good As Mine: I have no idea.
White Elephant: Useless
White Wedding: Traditional wedding
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover: Decisions shouldn't be made primarily on appearance.
Rome Was Not Built In One Day: If you want something to be completely properly, then it is going to take time.

6 comentários:

  1. Hi Amanda,

    Idioms are definitely worth learning, right? As you said, they might be the cause of a whole lot of misunderstandings when reading a text or watching a movie. After all, when you can't make head nor tail of what someone has said, you might feel at a loss for words to explain what has just been said to you. :)

    Perhaps now it's time to rack your brains and try to remember a couple of other idioms, huh?! Maybe other students can give you a helping hand on this task.

    Congrats on the blog!



  2. Hello Amanda! I am Alina from Greece and I have found your post to be really interesting. I like idioms because we use most of them in Greece, too, such as touch wood, home sweet home,etc. I express my thoughts about learning new words in http://markakifcpe.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/reading-an-english-book/

    I am looking forward to reading your new posts.

  3. Very useful list...I remember learning all these idioms by heart!!!It's not really cool..is it??
    Well of course there are other idioms too,such as:as the crow flies=in a straight line
    rack my brains=think very hard to remember sth
    not my cup of tea=you do not like sth
    a storm in a teacup=when we give attention to things that are unimportant
    go dutch or go halves=when you share the cost of sth with sb else
    ring a bell=sound familiar to sb
    a drop in the ocean=a very small amount of sth
    keep a straight face=remain serious and do not laugh
    keep your hair on=used for tell to sb not to get angry or upset
    up in arms about=angry and complaining about sth
    break even=when you neither lose or gain money
    keep up with the Joneses=try to be as ritch as your neighbours
    give sth a miss=decide not to do sth that you usually do
    follow your nose=go straight forward
    at a stone's throw away=very close (to)
    in the middle of nowhere=a long way from any town or city...and more!!!
    I am expecting your next comment...

  4. Hello Mandy,

    I find your blog exciting and I will visit it frequently in the future. I really like it and I believe you can give me lots of useful ideas for my blog.

    As I told you, I have a blog, too, with classmates and we use it as helpful way of improving our English skills. I live in Iraklio, a coastal city in the beautiful island of Crete, Greece.

    In my opinion, we have some similar ideas, because we both maintain an English blog, we enjoy ourselves and are educated through this activity. I would like to communicate with you and swap opinions about different issues as I believe your own views will affect my thoughts.

    Finally, I am writing some useful idioms which are difficult to learn, but if you manage to do it, you will be satisfied for sure, since you will be speaking the English language fluently.

    big mouth: used to criticize someone
    come clean (about sth): tell the truth about sth
    get the wrong end of the stick: understand sth wrongly
    give sb your word: promise to do sth
    keep sth under your hat: keep a secret
    speak volumes: provide a lot of information
    tell tales: tell someone in authority about bad things that someone else has done

    I am looking forward to hearing from you,

  5. P.S. I had to post Fanouris' comment above using my own Google account, as all our other attempts had failed! Sorry, Mandy, if I caused any confusion; I am Fanouris' teacher, but the above comment expresses his true thoughts. By the way, I would like to say that you are very lucky to have such a creative teacher and I am glad my students had the chance to communicate with all of you.

    Looking forward to even more constructive discussions,

  6. I am now posting John's comment. This is his blog in case you want to start a new discussion topic: http://vforvlastos.blogspot.com

    Hi Amanda,

    I am John Vlastos and I come from Crete, the biggest island of Greece. I am really impressed with your knowledge of idioms, as I saw your recent post about this topic. As I see it, idioms are the most interesting part of the English language and most of them are also very wide-spread and commonly used. In fact, I would like to add some more idioms that I've learnt recently.

    Make a U-turn: make a change, make sth change comletely
    add fuel to the fire: make a bad situation worse
    Achillles' heel: weak feature of sb
    steal the show: receive all the attention when doing sth
    throw the book at sb: punish sb severely
    bury your head in the sand: ignore a problem etc and hope it will be solved
    cry over spilt milk: wasting time feeling upset about sth that can't change
    up in arms about: angry and complaining about sth
    keep a straight face: remain serious and not laugh
    fly off the handle: suddenly become angry without reason

    I am looking forward to reading your next interesting post.

    John Vlastos