If you loved last week’s post on English idioms and were eager to know more, here are 7 more amazing idioms that you should know along your path to fluency!
For a song
If you’re working on your next project and are able to purchase something you need for a song, it will definitely help you stay under budget!
The idiom “for a song” means that you can get something for very cheap or almost free…as if you only had to pay for it by singing or playing a song.
Shoot the breeze
If you “shoot the breeze” with someone, I promise it doesn’t involve guns or the wind (or trying to shoot at the wind). Instead, you’re chewing the fat (remember last week?) with them.
Just like words can have multiple meanings, different idioms can be used to express one idea!
Through thick and thin
Do you have one friend that has been with you through everything? They’ve been there for you when things were going well in your life, and they’ve been there when things were going poorly? Then that friend has been with you “through thick and thin“.
Hold onto that friend, as they’re the best kind!
The whole nine yards
This is an idiom that is near and dear to my heart, as I worked in a store that sold kilts when I was in college (yes, I know…).
What does this idiom have to do with kilts, you ask? Well, there are many supposed origins to this phrase, as it’s an etymological riddle. But according to one theory, it comes from kilt making. Kilts are made with nine yards of fabric, so if you want a properly made kilt, you’ll need to buy the whole nine-yard ream.
The idiom means, however, that you have given something all your effort and gone above and beyond what was required. If you have ever done everything possible to make a guest feel very welcome at your office, then you have gone “the whole nine yards” for them.
Let the cat out of the bag
Have you ever spilled a secret that you weren’t meant to? Then you might have “let the cat out of the bag“. Once the secret is out in the open, there is no chance of putting that secret back in the bag!
So the next time your office is throwing a surprise party for a coworker, don’t let the cat out of the bag when asking what their favorite kind of cake is!
Fit as a fiddle
Did you spring out of bed this morning, whistling a happy tune, and were super productive at the office? Did you feel great, and as if you could get anything done? Then you were feeling “fit as a fiddle“.
If you’re fit as a fiddle, you’re in excellent health and at the top of your game. Just like a well-tuned fiddle!
Ace in the hole
An “ace in the hole” is more than a Billy Wilder film. If you have an ace in the hole, you have a secret advantage or an unrevealed strength. The phrase comes from the hole card in poker, which hopefully is an ace.
At your next interview, don’t be afraid to reveal your ace in the hole in order to secure your new job!
What idioms do you use in your everyday life? Do you have a favorite idiom? Share them with us in the comments below!
Erin Duffin lives in Berlin, is an English teacher, yoga instructor, and would look great in a kilt, if only she had the whole nine yards!