Being Idiomatic

Last Update: August 09, 2021

Sometimes, it is a good idea to garnish our writings and speeches with idioms. Idioms have universal usage. Meaning that every language and culture has it. And oftentimes, we misunderstand the idiomatic expressions, mostly when we don’t understand the language.

Historically, idioms originate from different sources. Other sources of idioms came from the Native Americans originated, such expressions as “bury the hatchet. While African Americans were the original users of “chill out.” These are popular idioms. But I just want to refresh our memories about them and to encourage their usefulness to our writings.

The sources also include the Bible, slang, ancient fables, storytellers, and philosophers. AS we know William Sharespare’s writings were spiced with idioms. I will like to make this post as short as I could while enjoying a family vacation at Clear Water in Florida. An awesome state! So let me share with you my most popular idioms and their meanings. I believe you will enjoy them.

Do You Know About the Following Idioms?

  1. 1. Dot your I’s and cross your t’s this means that you have to take great care over details.
  2. 2. Drive a hard bargain, meaning to insist on hard terms in making an agreement that is often to your advantage; to buy or sell at a good price.
  3. 3. Kick up your heels, meaning to celebrate and have a wonderful time.
  4. 4. Lay your cards on the table, this means that you need to reveal all the facts openly and honestly; to reveal one's purpose and plan.
  5. 5. Let the chips fall where they may, meaning to do the right thing, as you see it, whatever the consequences might be.

Tell me what you think about any of these idiomatic expressions, or kindly share with us your favorite idioms if possible with their meanings.

Wishing you the BEST of Sumer!

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Jocelyn30 Premium
Sarah I like it,

I’m broke flat like a platter, meaning you got no money, ha ha ha


Take a small blanket until you can afford big one meaning, endure the hardships till you got money.

Rocking the boat will throw you out of the boat, meaning if you disagree to the rest of management you are out !

That’s just few I always remember!

Joce
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favorme Premium
Well done Joce! You must be on cloud nine, to write this. Thanks for sharing these popular idioms. Greatly appreciate it!
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Jocelyn30 Premium
Sarah what makes you think that I'm on cloud nine, ha ha ha ha

joce
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richardgb Premium
A few nautical heritages. I’m an old salt at heart (whoops, that’s another) :

- “Not enough room to swing a cat”.
A “cat of nine tails” was a whip with nine strands used for cruel punishment practices originally perhaps used by the British navy to punish mutineers. Nowadays it means “there’s not much space”.

- “A square meal”.
Plates used in the tall ships were typically squares of wood because square plates can be smaller, work better for use on tables in a pitching ship and could be stacked and stored better than round things.
Nowadays it means a fillling meal or similar.

- “Feeling blue”.
When an officer died at sea, a blue flag and blue painted line on the hull signified grieving.
Now it’s commonly used to mean feeling down and is the origin of blues as in “blues music”.

There are hundreds of these.
:-)
Richard
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favorme Premium
Richard, wow, thank you so much for digging out these advanced idioms. Now I understand the real source and meaning of "Feeling blue." Indeed language has colors.
Thanks so much for sharing!
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richardgb Premium
Well, Sara, it wasn’t difficult really.
I used to do a lot of sailing.

In 2003, as a guest of a friend, I gave an after dinner speech at the Royal London Yacht Club at Cowes, Isle of Wight (for those who don’t know the IoW is an island about 12 to 14 miles south of Portsmouth off the south coast of England).

In the speech I included many historical nautical references.
:-)
Richard
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JKulk1 Premium
This is a bit different to those idioms you mentioned , but my favourite one I always use on my children and grandchildren is ' don't let the bed bugs bite'.
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favorme Premium
Awesome, very new to me, how I wish to learn the actual meaning. Thanks so much for sharing your favorite idiom. I believe that your children will always remember.
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richardgb Premium
It means something like “get on with something, don’t waste time.” or similar.
:-)
Richard
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IsabeloJ3 Premium
Yeah, I have one! "Keep on Rocking"
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favorme Premium
Love it, but I may still not be sure of the actual meaning. Keep rocking, can mean different things. Any explanation? While I expect, I really appreciate your sharing.
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JeannineC Premium
I always think it's funny to see what happens when slogans or idioms get translated into other languages.

Remember "Come Alive, You're the Pepsi Generation". In China it became "Bring Your Relatives Back from the Dead."

Pepsi sales tanked!
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favorme Premium
JeannineC, this is interesting. As you know, some of the popular idioms were like folksy sayings, used in some countries more than others. Just a simple and practical way of conveying a basic truth. Just like the Parables. Thanks for sharing this, and providing the meaning. I highly appreciate it.
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