English idioms

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Ven 4 Avr - 22:33

Muriel,

MurielB a écrit:Gérard, I don't understand what you mean I am sorry. Il have found that" to chicken out" means " decide not to do something because you are too frightened" I thought it was a good and funny expression.
Ok "chick " is a slang word for "girl" I Will remember.
As I edited my message while you posted a response, I wrote that I changed things especially "chick" is said to be American (+NZ+Oz) and not Brit.

You are right: "chicken" means coward (French trouillard, poule mouillée) so, chicken out has this meaning plus the "out" which means "extreme" hence decide not to do something because you are too frightened (in French "se dégonfler").

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Sam 5 Avr - 22:06

GO FOR THE JUGULAR: to attack someone and try to cause serious harm. The jugular vein is a blood vessel that runs through the neck. Daily Beast: <<Chobani Greek Yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya’s ex-wife is going for the jugular, alleging in a legal battle over the company that her husband stole the recipe from rival Fage. Ayse Giray alleges that Ulukaya paid an ex-Fage employee 30,000 euros for the formula.>>

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Sam 5 Avr - 22:48

When the wife is the boss
She wears the trousers (GB)
She wears the pants (USA)

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Lun 7 Avr - 18:01

HAVE A FIELD DAY: do something that you greatly enjoy. The original form of the expression referred to schoolkids who were let out to play sports in a field. That's not so common anymore, but the expression is used as in this example from the Daily Beast: <<Most of New Orleans’ signature dishes are widely known. Foodies have a field day comparing and contrasting the city’s boundless varieties of po-boys, gumbos, étouffés, and pralines. But when it comes to the unique Crescent City dish known as calas, hardly anybody knows what it is; and as far as we can tell, there is just one place left that serves it: a laid-back vintage French Quarter cafe called The Old Coffee Pot.>>


Some other useful expressions in there: a "signature" dish is a food characteristic of a certain area; "foodies" are gourmets, people who enjoy and pursue good food; "laid-back" means relaxed, informal.

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Lun 7 Avr - 22:32

Avec du recul
You should see things in perspective, you should view things from a distance
With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to criticize.

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Mar 8 Avr - 8:14

Your guess is as good as mine = I don't know more than you do
It's anyone guess when he will come back= Dieu seul sait quand il reviendra

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Jeu 10 Avr - 21:42

GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY: get involved in the difficult, unpleasant, or mundane parts of a job or task. The idiom must be used in this form; if you say that someone has dirty hands, it suggests instead that the person has committed wrongdoing. TechCrunch: <<It was fascinating to spend time with Corddry at Facebook headquarters to get an in-person look at how he works on a day-to-day basis. In keeping with his history, he puts a lot of importance on his team getting their hands dirty and knowing how servers work in data centers, side by side with the technicians who operate them.>>

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Jeu 10 Avr - 22:11

Time and days
In this day and age, you should be careful
Time and tide wait for no man (You can't stop the time)
Don't cross your bridges before you get to them ( Everything in good time)
I have got time on my hands
I have all the time in the world
Time heals all wounds (The same in French)
Other times, other ways
Rome wasn't built in a day
Those were the days (good old times)
You have to keep up with the times
He's had his day


Dernière édition par MurielB le Ven 11 Avr - 7:08, édité 2 fois

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Jeu 10 Avr - 23:23

Muriel,
Thanks for the expressions; I didn't know most of them.

However, some of 'em look strange, isn't there a mistale or typo?

> Don't cross you bridges before you get to them
I guess it's: "Don't cross your bridges before you get to them".
> He's has his day
I cannot understand grammarwise, isn't there a mistake in this "'s has"??
What does "'s has" stand for? "is has"??  scratch 


> Rome wasn't built in a day
Note that they say "in a day" and not "in one day" as most French do.
> Those were the days (good old times)
Still older style: "good olde times".

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Ven 11 Avr - 7:06

Gérard, thanks for pointing out my mistakes. You are perfectly right !

 "in a day"
Interesting to note that it is not "in one day"

"good olde times".
thanks for teaching me 'old English"

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Ven 11 Avr - 11:35

Hi Muriel,
> thanks...
You're welcome.

> Interesting to note that it is not "in one day"
Of course, you would be understood but also tagged Smile

> "good olde times".
This spelling is used for jokes.

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Dim 13 Avr - 15:46

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD: refuse to attack someone, act positively and ethically even when there is a chance to gain by being less honest. Montreal Gazette: <<Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard said he decided to take the high road and not engage in mudslinging during the debate.

“I remained standing,” Couillard said, after the TVA face-to-face debate, alluding to attacks by PQ Leader Pauline Marois on his past association with accused fraudster Arthur Porter and reports this week he maintained an offshore bank account in a tax haven in the 1990s.

“I was expecting this to happen, because of the way the campaign has been going on. So I had a choice to make: I could answer mud with mud, but this is not the way I want to do politics. I could have done it easily,” he added, “you know, guilt by association … but I decided not to do it.”>>

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Dim 13 Avr - 23:27

school He is fresh from school=> He has just graduated
He's playing (GB) truant = He's playing hooky (USA)=> he refuses to go to school and usually goes for a walk instead !
He is one of the old school (There is the same expression in French

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Lun 14 Avr - 16:05

PENCIL SOMETHING IN (pencil in a date, pencil in a time): arrange or predict something tentatively. This does not necessarily involve the use of an actual pencil—the idea is that it can be erased. Let's pencil in lunch for the 28th—I can probably make it! NBC Sports: <<In the future, we will see other [soccer, football] clubs follow Minnesota’s lead and head to England for preseason? If this trip is anything to go by, clubs across the U.S. should already be making plans to pencil in a trip to St. George’s Park for their 2015 offseason plans.>>

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Lun 14 Avr - 20:44

BAD BLOOD: enmity, ill will. Washington Post: <<Bad blood between [mayoral candidates] Bowser and Gray dates to at least 2012, when Bowser was one of three lawmakers to call for Gray to resign because of the expanding investigation into his 2010 campaign. >>

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Lun 14 Avr - 23:25

Eye She gave me the eye (she tried to attract me) she was making sheep's eyes at him ( sweet eyes) She took a fancy to him (a crush on him)

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Mar 15 Avr - 8:02

Thanks for the expressions Muriel!

I'm going to Watch around to see if a girl does this to me today Wink

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Mar 15 Avr - 8:29

good luck Gérard !  Very Happy

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Mer 16 Avr - 9:19

Cry one's eyes out
cry for a very long time in a desperate way

Have eyes in the back of one's head
be able to see what is going on although others think they are being secretive

I have found more expressions with "eye"


Dernière édition par MurielB le Mer 16 Avr - 18:53, édité 1 fois

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Mer 16 Avr - 17:57

> be able to see what is going one although others think they are being secretive
Muriel, I guess it's "be able to see what is going on although others think they are being secretive", right?

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Mer 16 Avr - 18:06

Yes Gérard ! Thank you for checking what I write  Very Happy 

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Re: English idioms

Message  gerardM le Jeu 17 Avr - 21:07


(click pic to access article)

Strange because the web page is completely different with Windows 7 and with Windows XP.

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Jeu 17 Avr - 21:29

Hi Gérard ! those idioms are very good. I have found more and I will write more to-morrow ( Sleep )
The man is the black sheep in his family and is the only member who has not had a successful career and life
I’m browned off with this place. There is nothing to do here.
To be colourless: to lack personality, to be boring.
to be off colour to be not quite at one’s best, to feel queasy or slightly ill.
to give/lend colour  to make (an account, story, explanation, etc.) more credible or more believable.
a highly coloured report= a report that is exaggerated or biased.
to see someone in his true colours to understand someone’s true character, often for the first time
to paint in bright/dark colours to describe something in a flattering or unflattering way.
to be green inexperienced, immature
give someone the green light give permission to go ahead with a project
grass is always greener on the other side a place that is far away or different seems better than where we are now.

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English idioms

Message  gerardM le Jeu 17 Avr - 22:34

Thanks Muriel!

I hesitated to write in "Language Learning Base" or in "English Idioms"... I didn't expect your answer.
Please would you like to move the 3 last posts to "English Idioms"? tx

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Re: English idioms

Message  MurielB le Ven 18 Avr - 21:33


Hi Gérard, everyone !
here are more idioms relating to colours.
green thumb a talent for gardening, ability to make things grow
She has a green thumb and is able to grow one of the best gardens in our neighbourhood.
a golden opportunity a great opportunity that might never come again
This is a golden opportunity to make a business deal with that big company.
a golden handshake a large sum of money paid to a retiring manager or director, or to a redundant worker.The company chairman received a huge golden handshake on retiring.
a golden boy a young man idolized for a great skill, usually in sport.
“David Beckham is the golden boy of English soccer”
tickled pink be very pleased, thrilled, delighted
She was tickled pink that you made the effort to go and visit her when you were in town.
to be shown the red card
to be dismissed from your job.“The accountant was shown the red card for hiding company money.”
To be in the red to have an overdraft, to be in debt.
”I am overdrawn again. I hate being in the red.”
to catch someone red-handed to catch someone in the act of committing a crime, usually a theft.
” The manager caught the new employee red-handed taking money out of the box.”
to look through rose-coloured/tinted spectaclesto see things in a flattering or over-optimistic light.
“It annoys me that she sees everything through rose-coloured spectacles, but
she would feel differently if she had to live there.”
to see red to react with uncontrollable rage against someone or something.
“John saw red when he saw his girlfriend laughing with another guy.”
red tape bureaucratic delay, excessive attention to rules and regulations, often resulting in injustice to the ordinary citizen.
“I want to start a new business but the red tape involved is very frustrating.”
to see the red light to recognize approaching danger, the red light being a danger signal.
“When the doctor warned his patient that further drinking would damage his liver, the man saw the red light and quit.”
paint the town red go out and party and have a good time
” When my cousin came to visit us we decided to go out and paint the town red.”
roll out the red carpet greet a person with great respect, give a big welcome
When Nelson Mandela visited Washington, they rolled out the red carpet and gave him a great welcome.
a redneck an ignorant, insensitive person.
“Our new co-worker is a real redneck. He doesn’t seem to know anything about life.”
the silver screen the cinema
Valentino was one of the earliest stars of the silver screen.
as white as a sheet in a state of great fear
You look like you’ve just seen a ghost. Your face is as white as a sheet.
white elephant a useless possession
The new stereo that he bought is a white elephant and he doesn’t need it at all.
white as a ghost very pale because of fear, shock, illness etc
My sister became white as a ghost when she saw the man at the window.
a white lie a harmless lie (told to be polite or to do something not seriously wrong)
I told my boss a white lie and said that I was sick yesterday when actually I wasn’t.
a white-collar worker a professional or office worker who wear a shirt with a white collar.
“The recession has hit factory workers (blue-collar workers) much harder than white-collar workers.”
yellow-bellied extremely timid, cowardly
He is a yellow-bellied coward and never is willing to fight for what is right.
A yellow streak  cowardice in character
He has a yellow streak running down his back and is not a good person to expect to support you when things become difficult.

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