Meaning – to make someone laugh hard In Context – I love Bill’s jokes. He really cracks me up. Origin – To crack someone up is an American idiom which comes from the 1600’s. At the time, make up was applied so thickly to a woman’s face that if she laughed it would crack up (break).
Meaning – to be a lazy individual / to have a sedentary life-style. This idiom conjures up an image of an overweight person sitting in front of TV eating crisps and junk food. In Context – I’ve had such a busy day today. All I want to do this evening is be a couch potato. Origin – Robert Armstrong, Jack … Read More
Meaning – it’s your decision now, you need to make the next move or take the next step. This idiom is frequently used during negotiations. In Context – We don’t know if he will accept the package yet. The ball is in his court.
Meaning – an incident which occurred in the past and no longer has any importance In Context – My wife had an affair with her boss but it happened so longer ago, it’s all water under the bridge. Idioms with a synonymous meaning – water over the dam (this idiom is typically used in American English)
Example – I’m not sure how to say this, but in a nutshell, I’ve lost my job. Idioms with a similar meaning – in sum / in short / to put it briefly Meaning – to summarise in very brief from, to say something in a few words Origin – This one goes right back to the 1st century. It … Read More
Example sentence – Singing is just a hobby. I earn my bread and butter as a sales representative. Meaning – this idiom means to make enough money for daily life Other Idioms and sayings with the same meaning – to make to a living / to earn a livelihood / to bring home the bacon Earn Your Bread and Butter … Read More
Meaning – a difficult problem to solve, a difficult person to persuade. In this idiom, hard is often replaced by a synonym such as tough or difficult. In Context – (1) I’m not sure if Chris we’ll agree to this move, he’s a hard nut to crack. (2) Resolving the political crisis in Syria is hard nut to crack. (3) … Read More
Meaning – to get married In Context – (1) After being engaged for years, Claude and Marie have finally decided to tie the knot next year. (2) Although John and Mary have lived together for the last 20 years, they have never tied the knot. Origin – This idiom refers to an ancient Celtic tradition called handfasting. Couples were once … Read More
Meaning – to know how something works, to be familiar with a procedure, to understand how a system operates, to have experience in a particular area In Context – Colin will be responsible for the new intern until he knows the ropes. Origin – A nautical term, this expression originally meant that a sailor only had basic experience (i.e. they … Read More
Ways to say you need to go to the toilet. May I go to the toilet, please? Can I go to the toilet, please? I need to / have to go to the loo.