The Wonderful World of Idioms: 5 of My Favourites

Ah, idioms. Those quirky little phrases that make English so colourful and, let’s be honest, sometimes confusing.

Did you know that there’s an idiom in English, „to kick the bucket,“ which means „to die“?

Imagine the confusion of a non-native speaker hearing someone say their grandfather „kicked the bucket“ and picturing an old man literally giving a bucket a good kick! 

Idioms can feel like a secret code you haven’t cracked yet if you’re not regularly chatting with native speakers.

But fear not! I’ve picked out five idioms that you might hear me use now and again. They’re some of my favourites, and I think they’re pretty fun. Plus, they add a bit of flair to everyday conversation (if you know others will understand you or you are prepared to explain what they mean). 

Let’s dive in.

  1. 24/7: This one’s a classic. It means “all the time” or “non-stop.” Like when someone asks me if I’m available to answer their grammar questions, and I say, “Sure, I’m here 24/7!” (Well, almost. Even language trainers need sleep.)
  2. Butterflies in my stomach: No, I haven’t swallowed a bunch of insects. This idiom means feeling nervous or anxious. Picture this: It’s like the feeling you get before a big presentation or when you’re about to ask someone on a date. Fluttery, right?
  3. Easier said than done: This is for all those brilliant ideas that seem simple until you try to do them. Like my resolution to learn the ukulele. Easier said than done, especially when my fingers feel like they’ve run a marathon after just five minutes of practice.
  4. Every cloud has a silver lining: This means that every difficult situation has a positive aspect. It’s a nice way to remind someone (or yourself) to look on the bright side. Like when your internet goes down, and you’re forced to take a break from endless scrolling. Silver lining: more time to read a book!
  5. Finding a needle in a haystack: Used to describe something that’s extremely hard to find. Like trying to locate your keys in the mess of your living room. Or finding a decent movie on a streaming service without spending an hour browsing.

Do you have a favourite English idiom?

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Foto Christine Sparks

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