Popular English Idioms
When your walking the streets of New York City or London and you hear a phrase that sounds extremely weird, odd, or possibly even scarey you might think us English speakers are absolutely insane. While this might true in some situations, it is possible you just heard one of our popular idioms. We use idioms quite often in our speech and they often make zero sense to someone who doesn't speak English fluently. Our idioms are often spoken in a figurative way and the literal meaning is completely irrelevant. So let's discuss some of these terms and expressions we use frequently so you can get some practice and not think we are crazy, weird, or mean if we tell you to, “break a leg.”
I forgot to mention, I won't make this easy for you. I am going to tell you a story using our idioms and you will need to let me know what you think they are. Don't cheat and look it up, that's no fun. Try using the context as a hint. This will be great practice for you. I will let you know the answers after we get a few guesses. Deal? Great!
Jane was a university student and often did very well in school. She thought her classes were a piece of cake and she often helped her fellow classmates with their homework. She would only go out with her friends to the bars once in a blue moon. She found herself a bit overwhelmed one day and wanted a break from studying. She ask her friend Linda if she wanted to go shopping to get their mind off school for a little bit and Linda quickly agreed.
They went to the mall near campus and started buying some clothes and accessories for a nice girls night out, perhaps after their exams. Jane found an amazing purse she really wanted, but it cost and arm and leg and she quickly put it back on the shelf. After their shopping spree they agreed it was time to hit the books again.
As the two girls sat at the library studying, Linda starting talking about their professor and said that he was really difficult and unfair with his grading. Jane agreed and they continued talking about how he was a mean teacher until Linda said, “Oh! Speak of the devil....!” Jane turned around and there was their professor. They were lucky he was too far to have heard them.
Linda and Jane continued studying and quizzing each other. Jane, being the good student she was, answered Linda's first questions correctly and Linda said,”Yep, you hit the nail on the head!”
When the day of the test came, Linda and Jane sat down ready for their test. Jane was confident, but Linda looked like a deer caught in headlights and just stared blankly at her paper. Jane finished first and was getting up to turn her paper in when Linda told her not to worry about it, she would do it for her in just one minute. When Jane left, Linda erased Jane's name off her test and put her name on it instead! To add insult to injury, Linda cut corners on most answers and didn't even try as hard as she could have done. She put Jane's name on her paper and turned it in.
The next day when the professor disappointedly gave Jane her test back with a huge fat F on it, Jane nearly burst into tears! She immediately looked at Linda and said, “ How could you take advantage of me like that? I thought we were friends?” Linda responded, “Oh Jane, you're such a goody two-shoes, just put a sock in it, we were never friends.”
Wow, Linda was mean! So what do we think? Can we tell what these idioms mean? Take a few guesses and let's see what you come up with.
Last edited by ESLPartyland_Nina; 06-15-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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