Skip to main content

The Language of Idioms


We use them everyday, knowingly or unknowingly. Maybe you know them differently, perhaps you call them cliches or catch phrases. But they are officially known as idioms.

When my youngest daughter was in Second Grade (she's a Sophomore in High School now) her teacher did a phrase a week. She took a common idiom and taught the children about what it meant. Logically the phrases make no sense but figuratively they hold a truth. I loved it. I loved that this teacher was helping children learn about this strange part of our language.

Earlier this year I was on track for this next installment of 365 when an idiom, I can't recall which one right now, threw me off the track I was on and set the course for this 365. For the next 365 days I'll share an idiom a day with you. Maybe we'll learn some new ones together or maybe one that we've heard for years will finally make sense. It's quite possible we will hear ourselves saying them more often or hear others saying them. Of course I'll do my best to make this journey through idioms fun and engaging, not dry and dull.

But let's geek out just for today, the intro day of this 365, on idioms - what are they and why do they exist?
An idiom is a phrase or a fixed expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. An idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.
[1] There are thousands of idioms, and they occur frequently in all languages. It is estimated that there are at least twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions in the English language.
[2] Idioms fall into the category of formulaic language.  (source
The history of idioms and how they transformed from literal to figurative is not something easily pinpointed. They generally would start with a literal meaning and through use and time would take on a figurative meaning. With each day's idiom I will provide the origin of the idiom and then the modern day meaning.

Still unsure what I mean when I say idiom?  Here's a few examples...

So let's get this party started!

*(Click here for a simple definition)


Popular posts from this blog


Are things happening to you or are you making things happen?  The difference between the two has to do with belief in self and the willingness to simply ask or take a step forward. 
Today's #MakeItHappenMonday thoughts come straight from this article I ran across. 

I'm not good at making things happen, I am lazy - fearful - insecure and just wait for things to happen to me. Not ideal I know. In fact, if I want to live a life that just happens and invites me to participate every so often then my attitude is perfect! But when I hear myself complain about things happening to me then it's not so perfect after all is it?

You've probably said it before, and I'm sure you've had it said to you, "it doesn't hurt to ask." That's true if you are a person who makes things happen. But if you are a person - like me - who waits for things to happen then the asking seems out of line or fear inducing or something uncomfortable.

So what kind of person are you?…


I get accused of being stupid with some of the things I do. For example, one time I assembled these superhero packets...for adults. I put in a color-your-own mask, a power cuff (fine it was a bracelet but go with it), some motivating thoughts about what it takes to be a superhero, and a way to devise their own superhero name. I made the packets colorful and superhero-ish. I included a note about why they were getting the packet (hint - because they matter and they are superheroes). There were grumblings over how stupid I was to make the packets and hand them out. The thing is, I didn't just hand them out for the mere sake of being silly (although I don't think there is anything wrong with that) but I did it because I had a message I wanted the people to receive. A message I knew most of them needed to hear. I had a reason, I always have a reason.
Don't be shy about being thoughtful - even if you think it might come off as stupid. Just be thoughtful in some way, you won…


Let's talk about style. Not current fashion but those fashions we sported back in our younger days. You know those days - when we thought we looked G.O.O.D. *wink* 
In the spirit of the day here's a few photos of my stellar fashion sense back in my day. 
August 1983 - I LOVED this dress, I wore it a lot and I thought I was quite the cutie in it! 
I'm not just outing my fashion sense today but my brother's as well - look at his shorts and socks! Hahaha! And then there's me. I remember this outfit very well - I put a lot of thought into it. I was definately going through a pink phase - you can't see it here obviously but my entire bedroom was pink walls - as in bubblegum pink - along with white wallpaper that had pink hearts on it. This was in July 1986. 
Huh. I just noticed that with the posting of this picture and the two above there's a lot of pink. I must have liked it much more than I thought. To be fair this sweater I'm wearing in September of 1987…