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The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週日 6月 07, 2020 8:02 pm
Kat C
Dear friends,

We have gone through a few idiom practices by now, and the list of the idioms covered is growing. I thought it helpful to put them all in the same thread for easy reference. :mrgreen:

So please see below for the idioms from my last "Idiom Blast." I'd encourage those of you who have done such a tremendous job (and had so much fun! :lol: ) putting idioms into quiz questions on our LINE group to post them here too. And do feel free to add any more that you've learned and care to share. Questions are welcome too! I'll do my best to answer them.

Idioms are our friends! 🌹


Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週日 6月 07, 2020 8:11 pm
Kat C
Idioms in the dialogue:

A: "Congratulations on finishing the marathon!”
B: “Thanks! I can’t believe I pulled it off.”
A: “Did you find it difficult?”
B: “My legs started hurting during the last five miles – but all the people cheering us on definitely helped me pull through the pain and reach the finish line."

(Espresso English)

The Dialogue Game:
(Useful everyday idioms, especially good for work. These are 4 separate conversations; the speakers are not the same group of people, and are not talking about related events.)

A: Okay, let’s get the money issue out of the way first. Any thoughts?
B: I’m not sure cutting the budget is the way to go. We may run short down the road.
C: I agree. We were really in a bind last time. It was touch and go.
D: I’ve leaned my lesson too. Let’s set aside some funds to cover our backs.

A: So are we all set to go? We really need to get a move on.
B: Hold on. I know I missed something, but it just slipped my mind.
C: Hurry! You know the boss has been breathing down our necks.
D: Is it money? Don’t worry. The boss is footing the bill this time.
E: That's a load off my mind. In that case, shall we?

A: Are we all up to speed on the plan? Any more kinks to iron out?
B: I don’t think so. Let’s just take the plunge and kick it off.
C: Do you think the other team will be all up in arms over this?
D: We’ll never know until we cross that bridge. Let’s roll!
E: Yes, let's! I really think we have it made this time.
("Let's" is a way to agree to the "let's" proposal just made)

A: I need everyone to keep this to yourself. Not even a peep.
B: I get the picture. We don’t want the whole plan to go up in smoke.
C: What if the other team catches wind of this from the top?
D: Well, they’ll pull out all the stops and come after us.


The Idiom Blast:

to take off (4 usages)
to put down (4 usages) (We didn't mention: "kill" <put the animals down> or "take something as" <put it down as a mistake>)
to back up (4 usages)
last but not least
to ease someone's way into something
to go down the drain
to pull no punches
a nice / good problem to have


Tip: Identify worn-out verbs and try out idioms in their place:

e.g., I have to go. / She left. → I have to take off. / She took off.
e.g., We need to cancel the meeting. → We need to call off the meeting.
e.g., The meeting has been delayed. → The meeting has been pushed back.

Pretty soon you'll find many idioms in your conversations to help you sound more natural and engaging! 👍


as always
to bring something to the table (/ meeting / group, etc.)
(e.g., She brought tremendous insight to the research.)
better yet
to pull together
(e.g., The police are pulling together all the facts to try to figure out what happened last night.)
to have to offer
to set up
to try out
in someone's / something's place

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週一 6月 08, 2020 8:39 am
Gloria Lo
The company pulled out all the s_____s for the CEO's retirement party.

(To do something with maximum effort or ability; to use all or the best available resources when doing something.)

Residents are u_ in a__s about the closure of the local library.

(angry and complaining about something)

If the press c_____es w____ of this, the campaign will be over.

(To become aware of something, especially something being kept secret, through indirect means.)

Living in that big house, earning a nice passive income—they h____ it m_____.

(To be in a comfortable situation or to be very likely to have success.)

The President's whole political future could g__ up in s_____ if this plan fails.

(If something that is important to you goes up in smoke, it fails or ends. )

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Ans: pull out all the stops/ up in arms/ catches wind of/ have it made/ go up in smoke

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週一 6月 08, 2020 12:25 pm
Gloria Lo
I hope the production company is f____ing the b___ for all of this air travel.

(To pay for something.)

I'd been putting it off for years, but I finally t____ the p______ and enrolled in a college course.

( To commit oneself to a course of action that is momentous or challenging.)

I just got another email from the boss asking about the status of this report, as if b_______ing d_____ my n_____ is going to make me finish it faster!

(To monitor someone closely, usually in an overbearing and irritating way.)

Jane had a serious operation, and everything was t____-a__-g__ for two days after her surgery.
(very uncertain or critical)

Sorry I'm late, Fred was in a bind and needed me to drive him home.

(In a particularly difficult or awkward situation, especially one that is not easy to resolve or escape.)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ans: footing the bill/ took the plunge/ breathing down my neck/ touch-and-go/ in a bind

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週二 6月 09, 2020 5:53 pm
We just installed a new computer program, and we're still i___ning o__ the k__ks

(To remove or fix any small problems that are present in something, such as a project, and put the thing into a finished state)

Some of the figures in the book "Poor Economics" don't seem to a__ u_, but I don't think the authors are trying to p__l a f___ o__.

(seem reasonable or consistent)
(to deceive, cheat, trick sb)

Thanks Kat. I was really __ a r__l with idioms yesterday. That doesn't c___ __ often.

(1.Experiencing a particularly successful period, without any setbacks or low points)
(2. happen)
(both of the two-letter blanks are prepositions)

In a new book about his tenure as President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton p___ no p____es in his criticism of Trump

( express disapproval without trying to be kind or polite)
(to p___ one's p____es: the expression comes from boxing and means to hit less hard than one can)

A: I can't wait to read the book.
B: You may not get to read it as Trump is p___ing o__ a__ the s___(s) to try and prevent the book from release.

( do everything you can to make something happen or succeed)

Negotiations always get tougher towards the end. That's the n____ of the b____.

(the basic, inherent quality or character of something, especially a negative or difficult one)

Protesters across the US are u_ i_ a__s against racial injustice and police brutality.

(they are very angry about it and are protesting strongly)
Hint: the first two are prepositions; the third is a plural noun


Ans: ironing out the kinks, add up, pull a fast one, on a roll, come up, pull no punches, pulling out all the stops, nature of the beast, up in arms

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週三 6月 10, 2020 2:34 am
A: Is Jolin coming to dinner this Saturday?

B: I sent her an invitation last night, but don’t hold your b____h.

(used to say that something is not going to happen soon)

A: What would you like on your burger?

B: I’ll have tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese… well, the whole nine y__ds! (4個字母)

(everything you can possibly want, have, or do in a particular situation)

關於這句話的出處有很多,可是沒有人能證實那一個才是真正的出處,有一個算是比較合理的出處是跟賣布有關: 據說在十八世紀的時候,布商賣布通常以九碼爲單位,所以 “The whole nine yards” 就是一匹布的意思

We paid through the n__e to get the car fixed.
(4 letters; simple noun)


Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週四 6月 18, 2020 12:14 pm
Politicians these days are more interested in playing to the ga___y than exercising real influence on world events.

(to do or say something just because you think it will please people and make you popular; 譁眾取寵)

Kooper jumped down our th___ts when we talked about politics on LINE group today.

to suddenly speak angrily to someone)

They rob someone on the street and they get a slap on the w___t – thirty days in jail.

(a small punishment when a more severe punishment is deserved)

F__ be it from me to tell you what to do, but I think you should buy the book.

(it is not really my place to do something.)
3個字母, 非常簡單的形容詞

There is no da_____t between official government and special interests in Trump administration.

( Two things are very closely related or intertwined.)

People scrambed to s__ a___e masks, food, and toilet paper after Covid-19 outbreak.

(to save/reserve something for a later use)

The KMT candidate for the mayor of Kaoshuing is a relatively unknown qu____y.

(a person or a thing whose abilities, powers, or effects are not yet known)

The fact that she needed the money for her children is neither h__e nor t___e – it’s still stealing.

(used to say that something is not important because it does not affect a fact or situation
= irrelevant)

Some of the figures in the book "Poor Economics" don't seem to a__ u_, but I don't think the authors are trying to p__l a f___ o__.

(seem reasonable or consistent)
(to deceive, cheat, trick sb)

A: I knew you wouldn't win the game.

B: H_______t is 20/20

As in any profession, there is an occasional person who does not have the skillset or temperament to properly do the job. However, defunding the police because of a few would be a classic example of throwing the b__y out with the bathwater.

(to lose valuable ideas or things in your attempt to get rid of what is not wanted)

A: Does your son help you with the housework?
B: Once in a blue m__n!

(Not very often)

Kim Yo Jong(金與正) would be the first member of North Korea's ruling family ever to enter the halls of power of a s___n enemy.

(two people or groups of people who will always hate each other)

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週四 6月 25, 2020 6:22 pm

People scrambled to s__ a___e masks, food, and toilet paper during Covid-19 outbreak.
(to save/reserve something for a later use)


Ans: set aside

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週四 7月 16, 2020 2:31 pm
Gloria Lo
I always keep enough so I will never r___ s____.

(to begin to run out of something.)

If you don't do your homework now, it'll be a problem d____ the r_____ when you don't know the material for the exam.

(In the future)

I certainly l______ed my l_______ about buying something from a stranger online.

(To learn through painful experience not to do something)

I’m glad I’ve g____ that visit to the dentist o___ of the w____.

(to finish something so that it is no longer a problem or worry)

A: "I think we need to hold a vote with the board members."
B: "Yes, t_____'s definitely the w___ to go."

(That is the best or most suitable decision, option, or method.)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ans: run short (of something)/ down the road/ learn one's lesson/ get something out of the way/ that's the way to go

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週二 8月 04, 2020 12:53 pm
Kat C
Here're the idioms from the game played in our Anniversary party! :D

Fishing Idioms!

1. Studies have shown that children learn racial bias like they learn a language, meaning they internalize racial bias as early as age 2, and become set in their ways by age 12.

2. Working irregular hours is all part and parcel of being a journalist.

3. I stopped short of telling him the brutal truth.

4. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has repeatedly urged residents to wear masks and practice social distancing. “This is the moment for everybody to step up to the plate.”

5. The big debate on social media now is that, although almost everyone would agree some types of speech are beyond the pale, should they be banned?

6. The plans for a new airport have touched off a storm of protest.

7. Last night’s defeat has taken some of the wind out of the team’s sails.

8. During the election season, politicians often use sensitive issues, such as same-sex marriage or immigration, as red herring to divert the public’s attention.

9. You won’t be able to change his mind—he is dead set against the plan.

10. Boeing reportedly plans to wind down production of its massive 747 jumbo jet.

11. Now the team needs to put some distance/daylight between themselves and their rivals for the championship.

12. I’ve told him that he’s heading for trouble, but he doesn’t listen—it’s just like water off a duck’s back.

13. Her allergies acted up when she went hiking in the woods.

14. The president and vice president locked heads over plans for the new airport.

15. Wearing a mask is risk reduction rather than absolute prevention. You don’t throw up your
if you think a mask is not 100% effective.

16. The reopening of America’s economy continues to pick up steam, according to the latest unemployment claims numbers.

17. We just had yet another break-in. It's time to beef up security again.

18. Times are changing. We need to do away with the old laws.

19. The company was doing poorly until it hired a new president. He turned it around in about six months and now it's doing quite well.

20. The team got carried away when they won the championship and started shouting and throwing things around.

Re: The Idiom Zone

發表於 : 週六 4月 10, 2021 11:22 pm
Below are idioms from Kat's YOYO hosting on 2021.4.10 (http://yoyo.club.tw/viewtopic.php?f=2&t ... 741#p33741)

An acquired taste:
something that you dislike at first, but that you start to like after you have tried it a few times (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... ired-taste)
Ex: Olives are an acquired taste.

Have bigger fish to try:
To have more important or more interesting things to do or attend to (https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ha ... ish+to+fry)
Ex: It's really not worth my time. I've got bigger fish to fry!
Ex: I want Chris to help me with this project, but he claims he has bigger fish to fry right now.

Bottom of the barrel:
The least able member of a group; the least desirable item from a group; the location of persons or things of the very lowest quality
Ex: Our washing machine broke down after just two months of use, but that's what we get for buying the bottom of the barrel.
Ex: Richard's in the team? You really are scraping the bottom of the barrel!
Ex: That last secretary you sent me was really (from) the bottom of the barrel. If you drop out of school, you stay at the bottom of the heap.

Egg sb on:
to encourage someone to do something that might not be a very good idea
Ex: Bob didn’t want to jump, but his friends kept egging him on.

Take the cake:
be the most outstanding in some respect, either the best or the worst
Ex: When I found out he had been reading through my text messages, well, that took the cake!
Ex: I’ve had some pretty bad injuries, but this one takes the cake.
Ex: You've done some nice murals, but this one takes the cake!

to pick only the best people or things from a group, so that only people or things that are less good remain
Ex: The new schools were accused of cherry-picking the best students in the area.
Ex: I can't believe he left the company and then cherry-picked the best employee in my department!

Bite off more than you can chew:
to try to do sth that is too difficult for you
Ex: By accepting two part-time jobs, he is clearly biting off more than he can chew.
Ex: It feels like I bit off more than I could chew when I promised to complete this worksheet in one day.

Have a lot on one’s plate:
have a lot of work to do or a lot of things to deal with
Ex: She's got a lot on her plate - especially with two new projects starting this week.