The English Language is full of idiomatic expressions. So what is an idiom? An idiom is a commonly used expression but its meaning doesn’t relate to the literal meaning of the words.
Here are 10 of the most common idioms in English.
Piece of Cake: When someone says the assignment was a piece of cake , it does not mean that their teacher gave them a delicious piece of cake. If something is a piece of cake it actually means it is very easy to complete.
Costs an arm and a leg: It would be a very strange world if the handbag we bought was paid for by chopping off an arm and a leg and giving it to the shop assistant. When something costs an arm and a leg it actually means that it is very expensive.
Break a leg: Right before you are about to take your end of term test your classmate says to you ‘break a leg’. Why would they say something so ridicilous?! Well your classmate doesn’t want you to actually break your leg, it means GOOD LUCK!
Hit the books: All of you should know this phrase as I’m sure you hit the books every night! This doesn’t mean students run around hitting books out of anger or excitement. If you hit the books it means you study.
Let the cat out of the bag: To start with why would someone put a cat in a bag? Luckly this doesn’t mean someone puts a cat in a bag or lets it out. This idiom means someone reveals a secret that they were mean to keep…well secret.
Hit the nail on the head: This has nothing to do with building or hammering in nails. If someone does something perfectly or exactly right then they have hit the nail on the head.
When pigs fly: Do pigs fly? No they definitely don’t! This idiom means that something will never happen, just like pigs will never grow wings and fly.
You can’t judge a book by its cover: Think of how many awesome books you have never read because the cover doesn’t catch your eye. This idiom means you should not decide upon something based on how it looks on the outside.
Bite off more than you can chew: Imagine you are so hungry and you take a massive bite of a delicious hamburger, it’s such a big bite that you can’t actually chew the food! That is a very literal meaning however this idiom means you attempt to take on a task that is too much for you to handel.
Scratch someone’s back: We all know how difficult it is to scratch our own back however we wouldn’t normally ask a stranger to scratch our backs. Thankfully this idiom isn’t taken literally, what it means is to help someone out with the assumption that will return the favour in the future.
For more idioms have a look at our Facebook or twitter for our weekly ‘Idiom of the week’.