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Date: Jun 07 2007

Topic: Idioms and Slang

Author: Michellita


We all know that English speakers use many slangs and idioms in their daily conversation. Some of those expressions we can understand through the context, but there are many cases in which we feel really stupid because we can't understand what they are trying to say. Knowing grammar and vocabulary alone is not enough to make of us fluent speakers, it's good to know some idioms to use in an appropriate situation. That's why I'm writing here some idioms that I learned with their definitions and examples. I hope you enjoy!  Wink

1) BITE THE DUST - to fail; to fall to defeat; to die

e.g: No one could believe when Jim bite the dust since he was among the top ten players in the tournament.

2) COUCH POTATO - someone who is not very active and spends a lot of time watching TV

e.g: Many children are becoming couch potatoes from playing video games all day long. 

3) DO THE TRICK - to provide what is necessary to get a good result or to have the desired effect 

e.g: "A little more salt should do the trick", Mary thought to herself after she tasted the stew she had just cooked for dinner. 

4) DRY RUN - a practice or rehearsal of an activity or performance

e.g: In order to make sure everything would go as planned the band decided to make a dry run

5) GET SOMETHING OFF ONE'S CHEST - to tell someone about something that has been worrying and/or annoying you

e.g: "Why don't you tell me what is bothering you? You will feel a lot better after you get it off your chest." Mick told Jim

6) HEAR THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE - to hear news that has been passed from one person to another

e.g: The whole town heard through the grapevine that Melissa was pregnant. 

7) IN A NUTSHELL - very briefly; using as few words as possible

e.g: Without long explanations the boss wanted to know the problems, in a nutshell.

8) JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON - to join or to take a popular position or side

e.g: Once the Caribbean became a popular vacation spot, everybody seemed to jump on the bandwagon and want to spend theit vacations there.

9) ONCE IN A BLUE MOON - very rarely; hardly ever

e.g: Harry rrarely visits his in-laes as they live so far away. He only sees them once in a blue moon

10) ON A SHOESTRING - on a very tight budget

e.g: In order to travel to Europe on a shoestring you need to where the cheap places are. 

11) PULL STRINGS - to use your influence to get something

e.g: Roger knows lots of influential people who can pull strings for him. 

12) RING A BELL - to remind one of something; to seem familiar

e.g: "Does the name Wally ring a bell?" Dave asked Mark. 

13) TAKE A RAIN CHECK - to postpone until a later time

e.g: Sean: How about dinner tonight?

       Beth: I'm sorry. I can't tonight. Can I take a rain check

14) TALK SHOP - to talk about work or business during free time

e.g: No matter where he is the boss always wants to talk shop

15) WEAR ONE'S HEART ON ONE'S SLEEVE - to show one's feelings openly

e.g: Joan has always worn her heart on her sleeve. She cannot hide her feelings.

I hope it can help you improve your speaking! Smile


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hya ahmed

hya ahmed


learn the idioms is not necessary in the begning of learning , is it?

any way thanx

04:33 AM Jun 16 2011 |




thank you!

06:58 AM Jun 05 2010 |

Super Girl


i' d like to say super. and also thanks.Laughing

08:46 AM Oct 08 2008 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of


11:03 AM Jan 12 2008 |




Your idioms are so great! by the way you have a beautiful smile. 

09:27 PM Dec 16 2007 |



I appreciate your offer so much:)

08:50 PM Dec 16 2007 |




Hi Friend, 

All idioms are of great worthwhile….

Thanx a lot!



08:58 AM Dec 16 2007 |


Viet Nam

thanks for ur useful idioms. it would help me a lot in my coming thesis

01:49 AM Dec 16 2007 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

thanks for u . i saved your lesson. Wink

11:52 AM Dec 04 2007 |



hi become friends?

12:53 PM Dec 03 2007 |



hi become friends?

12:53 PM Dec 03 2007 |



thankyou iwill  learn hard


04:48 AM Dec 02 2007 |



United Arab Emirates

Great Job Smile !!

08:50 AM Dec 01 2007 |



I want to speak the pleanty of Idioms.

10:27 AM Nov 30 2007 |




really great and familier for me

08:18 AM Nov 28 2007 |

scarlet pimpernel


Thank you so much Michelitta. You are a beautiful young lady.

04:24 AM Nov 28 2007 |

scarlet pimpernel


Thank you so much Michelitta!!!
You are a beautiful young lady.

04:23 AM Nov 28 2007 |




well, i ll come back to u with some comments

Thanks and regards


04:43 PM Nov 23 2007 |



I know my comment is 4 months late 9thats bec i just joined in) but this lesson is my favorite so far!1 ive also read idioms part.your lessons are great! thanks!

01:16 AM Oct 19 2007 |




Thanx a lot!

You are really a contributor rather consumer…

Good on you!

01:41 PM Oct 08 2007 |

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