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Idioms – as clear as mud?

Idioms – as clear as mud?
Miranda Steel is a freelance ELT lexicographer and editor. She has worked as a Senior Editor for dictionaries for learners at OUP and has also worked for COBUILD. In this post, she looks at some of the weird and wonderful idioms in the English language. Idioms are commonly used in spoken and written English. Native English speakers are usually confident that their readers or listeners will recognize the idiom, so well-known phrases rarely need to be given in full. Some idioms can be shortened in other ways such as long story short (to cut a long story short). “Anyway, long story short, it turns out Drake isn’t really his father.” Sometimes only a fragment of the original idiom remains. Another common way of changing an idiom is to reverse its meaning. Many idioms are very versatile and can be changed in a variety of ways. “Why use a stick when a carrot will work better?” “Their approach is all stick and no carrot.” “They are using every carrot and stick at their disposal.” Like this: Related:  lexique

IdiomSite.com - Find out the meanings of common sayings If You've Never Used These English Idioms, You're Probably Not a Native Engli... Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often: 1. A Chip on Your Shoulder No, this doesn’t mean that you’ve dropped part of your snack. 2. Like taking a HUGE bite of a sandwich that will fill your mouth up so much that you can’t move your jaw, this idiom implies that you’ve taken on more than you can handle successfully. 3. You can’t take anything with you when you die, so don’t bother hoarding your stuff or not using it except for “special occasions”. 4. 5. 6. To get married. 7. 8. This means “never”. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Cliche Finder Have you been searching for just the right cliché to use? Are you searching for a cliché using the word "cat" or "day" but haven't been able to come up with one? Just enter any words in the form below, and this search engine will return any clichés which use that phrase... Over 3,300 clichés indexed! What exactly is a cliche? This is Morgan, creator of the Cliche Finder. Or, you might like my crazy passion project: Spanish for Nerds: Learning Spanish via Etymologies! Back to cliches... if you would like to see some other Web sites about clichés? © S. Special thanks to Damien LeriAnd to Mike Senter Morgan's Web page

What do idioms look like? Ahead of his talk at IATEFL 2011 entitled ‘Don’t give up on idioms and phrasal verbs’, Stuart Redman, co-author of Oxford Word Skills, ‘gets to the bottom of‘ idioms in the English language. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you see these expressions? - kick the bucket – be barking up the wrong tree – a storm in a teacup – strike while the iron is hot – have egg on your face Your answer is probably that they are all idioms: groups of words that not only have a meaning that is different from the individual words, but also a meaning that is often difficult or impossible to guess from the individual words. Now, let’s turn to another list of expressions. - to some extent – I’ve no idea – from time to time – first of all – in the distance Less obvious perhaps, but the answer, in fact, is the same: they are all idioms. The common factor with both of the above lists is that the form of the expressions have become fixed, or frozen. Do all idioms have a fixed form like this? Like this:

100 Words for Facial Expressions By Mark Nichol Face it — sometimes you must give your readers a countenance-based clue about what a character or a subject is feeling. First try conveying emotions indirectly or through dialogue, but if you must fall back on a descriptive term, try for precision: 1. Subscribe to Receive our Articles and Exercises via Email You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed! 12 Responses to “100 Words for Facial Expressions” Lucia Hello!

Words and phrases: frequency, genres, collocates, concordances, synonyms, and... untitled French Words and Expressions in English Updated October 16, 2015. Over the years, the English language has borrowed a great number of French words and expressions. Some of this vocabulary has been so completely absorbed by English that speakers might not realize its origins. Other words and expressions have retained their "Frenchness" - a certain je ne sais quoi which speakers tend to be much more aware of (although this awareness does not usually extend to actually pronouncing the word in French). adieu "until God" Used like "farewell": when you don't expect to see the person again until God (when you die and go to Heaven) agent provocateur "provocative agent" A person who attempts to provoke suspected individuals or groups into committing unlawful acts aide-de-camp "camp assistant" A military officer who serves as a personal assistant to a higher-ranking officer aide-mémoire "memory aid" 1. à la française "in the French manner" Describes anything done the French way allée "alley, avenue" A path or walkway lined with trees

100 Exquisite Adjectives By Mark Nichol Adjectives — descriptive words that modify nouns — often come under fire for their cluttering quality, but often it’s quality, not quantity, that is the issue. Plenty of tired adjectives are available to spoil a good sentence, but when you find just the right word for the job, enrichment ensues. Practice precision when you select words. Here’s a list of adjectives: Subscribe to Receive our Articles and Exercises via Email You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed! 21 Responses to “100 Exquisite Adjectives” Rebecca Fantastic list!

Sports Idioms Quiz Sports idioms generally originate from a specific sport such as baseball or sailing. Over time these phrases have come to mean something that can be used in everyday life. While most sports idioms can still be used when discussing sports, they are even more common in other areas of life, especially the business world. You can study these idioms just as you would any other vocabulary. Look at the model sentences and practise writing your own. More sports idioms here Sports Vocabulary a word a day A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg We equate French with sophistication and when we import French words into English, we look at them with rose-colored glasses. We often give them special meanings. In French, concubin/concubine are simply people living together. This week we'll feature five terms from French that relate to love, lust, and sex. risque or risqué (ri-SKAY) adjective: Bordering on indelicacy or impropriety, especially in a sexually suggestive manner. From Fremch risqué (risky), past participle of risquer (to risk). "A woman who was fired from her job at a NY lingerie business says she was fired because her employer complained her work attire was too risque." "The normally pristine Senator Evan Bayh made a risqué joke about a fellow Indianan from a town called French Lick."

The Phrontistery: Obscure Words and Vocabulary Resources dictionaries/etymology

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