An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from their literal meanings. As I have previously written, language is culture. Idioms are used to convey values and meanings in colourful ways. The following are some examples of English idioms which I find interesting, for which I will also provide examples.
Meaning : Listening intently; fully focused or awaiting an explanation.
Wife: “I’m so upset.”
Husband: “What’s wrong, honey?”
Wife: “Tiffany got the same necklace as me! How dare she make a mockery of me!”
Husband: “I’m all ears.“
“Have a cow”
Meaning : To get angry; have a fit.
John had a cow because his girlfriends didn’t behave.
“Elephant in the room”
Meaning : A problem or difficult issue that is very obvious, but is ignored for the convenience or comfort of those involved.
That their 35-year-old daughter was still unmarried was a big elephant in the room at every family gathering.
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”
Meaning : Other circumstances which seem more desirable than one’s own are often not.
Cindy: “I hate my boyfriend! I hinted to him to buy me that limited edition Hermès bag but he got me a normal one instead!”
Samantha: “The grass is always greener on the other side. My boyfriend bought me a 2,000 sq. ft. flat. It’s so big that it takes me half a minute just to walk to the bathroom. Men these days are so irresponsible!”
“Hit the road”
Meaning : To leave a place; to go away.
My husband is coming home now, so you better hit the road.
“Letting the cat out of the bag”
Meaning : To reveal facts previously hidden.
Sam: “Matt planned to surprise his girlfriend Jane by proposing to her at her birthday party, but a girl friend of her’s let the cat out of the bag, so she knows already.”
Anna: “I thought Matt already broke up with Jane. He’s dating Betsy now.”
Sam: “His secretary Betsy? I thought that was just a fling!”
“Piss in someone’s cornflakes”
Meaning : To disappoint or irritate someone.
Waiter: “Sorry to piss in your cornflakes, but no smoking is allowed in this restaurant.”