Tag Archives: idiom

IOTW: ‘The Elephant in the Room’

Have you ever heard of the expression ‘the elephant in the room?’ Why is it elephant and why not other animals?

‘The elephant in the room’ is a metaphorical idiom that means an obvious or major problem that nobody mentions and seems to care about. Another version of this idiom is ‘the elephant in the living room.’

If we suddenly find an elephant in our room, we will have a lot of questions. But we will also do so if we find basically any animals that are supposed to spend their time outdoor. So why don’t we have ‘the tiger in the room’ or ‘the giraffe in the room?’

It’s because of the origin of the idiom itself. In 1814, a Russian fabulist and poet named Ivan Krylov wrote a fable titled ‘The Inquisitive Man.’ The story tells about a man who goes to a museum and notices everything except for an elephant. Since then, the phrase ‘the elephant in the museum’ became proverbial.

In the 20th century, the idiom has had many variations such as ‘the elephant in the living room,’ ‘the elephant in the classroom,’ and the more general ‘the elephant in the room.’

‘The elephant in the room’ doesn’t only mean a major problem that is ignored. It also refers to a situation where talking about that particular problem will cause embarrassment, controversies, or arguments, so everyone deliberately avoids discussing it.

“Her issues are caused by her unhealthy habits, but no one wants to tell her the elephant in the room as not to upset her.”
“If we are to slow down the virus mutation, we have to address the elephant in the room, that is vaccine equity.”

This is a handy chart of why there is an elephant in the room.

Source: https://www.redbubble.com/i/poster/parts-of-the-elephant-in-the-room-by-WrongHands/35268753.LVTDI

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 29 November 2021.

#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian
#IOTW: Idioms about Personality
#IOTW: Idioms for New Year
#IOTW: Idioms from Name of Place
#IOTW: Idioms That Mention Rome

#EngTrivia: Spilling the Beans vs. Spilling the Tea

What’s the difference of spilling the beans and spilling the tea?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

If you spend enough time on the internet, you’ll find that people use the phrase ‘to spill the tea’ a lot, especially when there is a scandal or a controversy. How does it differ from ‘to spill the beans?’

Quick answer: both can mean the same thing, which is exposing or leaking private information that is not supposed to be made public. However, I tend to use ‘spill the beans’ for something that has an amount of truth in it, while I use ‘spill the tea’ for gossips.

‘Spill the beans’ is believed to have come from an ancient Greek voting system, wherein those in favour of something would put white beans into the jar. Those who opposed would put black ones. It’s not clear what type of beans were used.

If someone knocked over the jar and the beans were spilled, the results were out and were known to public before the voting ended. Thus came the phrase ‘spill the beans’.

We have a much clearer record of ‘spill the tea’. It first appeared in a 1994 non-fiction novel, John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In it, he interviewed Lady Chablis.

The lady said she avoided being in a close acquaintance with certain men because once the found out the T about her, they tended to become more violent. ‘T’ here stands for truth.

In her autobiography which was published in 1997, Lady Chablis once again used the letter ‘T’ to refer to the truth. Later on, this ‘T’ was officially spelled ‘tea.’

Unlike ‘spill the beans’ that carries some truth in it, the phrase ‘spill the tea’ can mean the truth or gossips. It can also mean our truth/gossips and the truth/gossips about us. So be careful when ‘spilling the hot tea,’ lest we get burnt.

Photo by Dmitriy Ganin on Pexels.com


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

#EngTrivia: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts
#EngTrivia: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts (2)
#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian
#IOTW: Idioms That Mention Rome
#IOTW: Idioms to Express Sadness


Rome. A city full of myths, legend, and history. Rome’s influence to the whole world is such that we have four idioms in English that mention Rome. We Indonesian will at least be able to name one of them, as it has an Indonesian version.

Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

‘Banyak jalan menuju Roma’ is the Indonesian version of ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ In Indonesian, it’s commonly interpreted as there are a lot of ways to achieve something, which essentially means ‘never give up.’

The English version has a slightly different meaning. It means that all methods of doing something will lead to the same result. However, the idiom ‘all roads lead to Rome’ had a literal meaning once.

To mark the starting point of the Roman road system to the rest of Italy, Emperor Caesar Augustus of the Roman Empire instructed the building of Milliarium Aureum or the Golden Milestone around 20 BCE. All roads were considered to begin at this monument and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to it.

Next, we have ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ The first known reference to this idiom was actually made by a 12th-century cleric in the court of Phillippe of Alsace, the Count of Flanders, in present-day Belgium.

It was recorded in a mediaeval French poem around the end of the 12th century as ‘Rome ne fu pas faite toute en un jour’ and then it was included in the book Li Proverbe au Vilain by Swiss linguist Adolf Tobler in 1895. This idiom means that everything takes time and effort.

Another idiom is ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ It means wherever we are in the world, it’s expected that we respect local people and local culture. The phrase’s origin can be traced back to the 4th century, written by Saint Augustine.

During that time, Saint Augustine moved from Rome to Milan to become a professor of rhetoric. In his previous Roman church, there was a custom to fast on Saturdays, but he didn’t find such tradition in Milan. Thus, he found the place quite different.

Saint Ambrose, a bishop of Milan, then advised Saint Augustine, “When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend if you do not want to give or receive scandal (create controversies)?”

These wise words left such a deep impression that Saint Augustine wrote it in a letter. Later on, similar phrases started gaining popularity and came to a conclusion as ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’

The last one is ‘fiddling while Rome burns.’ It means to continue our regular activity to avoid dealing with something unpleasant or to do something trivial in the midst of an emergency. Sounds like celebrities and influencers who attend or host parties during a pandemic.

All shades aside, in July of 64 AD, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half of its population homeless. Emperor Nero, who was notorious for being a tyrant, was believed to quite literally play music, specifically a fiddle, during the fire.

However, historians debate this theory as Nero was at his villa in Antium, around 35 miles from Rome. Music historians believe the viol class of instruments (to which the fiddle belongs) was not developed until the 11th century, making it disputable for Nero to have played one during the fire.

Nero returned to Rome immediately and began disaster relief measures, but as he was known for being an ineffective leader, his people didn’t trust him. Many Romans accused him of instructing to start the fire in order to empty some lands which would then become his Golden Palace and its surrounding gardens. Nero himself accused and subsequently arrested and executed the Christians.

He cast the blame on the Christians because Christianity was a relatively unknown religious sect at the time. But the story that Nero played a fiddle during the Great Fire is considered more of a legend than a fact.

There they are, fellas, 4 idioms that mention Rome, each with its origin and history. Feel free to add anything that we’ve missed or correct us if there is any inaccuracy.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionary

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 8 February 2021.

#EngVocab: Places in Town
#EngVocab: Travel Phrasal Verbs
#IOTW: 5 Idioms from Ancient Times
#IOTW: Idioms from Name of Place
#IOTW: Traveling Idioms


Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the apple of her parents’ eyes,’ fellas? It means that a child is so loved by the parents.

@NoviTanurarini: I ever heard about this phrase… Emm, I’m not sure, maybe it’s in the “Rain-Bruno Mars” lyrics…
@diptaulia: Translated to Indonesian as “anak semata wayang”

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

On this article, we are going to discuss idioms that use the word ‘eye.’

‘An eye for an eye’
It means that a person who causes suffering to other(s) should also suffer from the same injury or damage.

‘To see eye to eye’
It means two or more parties having the same agreement or a mutual understanding on a topic.

‘To turn a blind eye’
It means that we choose to ignore or pretend not to see something.

‘To keep one’s eyes open/peeled’
It means being alert or watching someone or something carefully.

‘To have an eye for something’
It means that we admire something and we want to have it.

‘To cry one’s eyes out’
It means to cry bitterly and for a long time.

‘To catch one’s eyes’
It means that something or someone has caught our attention.

‘To hit the bull’s eye’
It means hitting the target precisely.

‘Without batting an eye’
It means doing something big without a change of expression, without showing any emotions, and acting like there’s nothing unusual.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 12 October 2020.


#IOTW: Idioms on Human Body
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts (2)
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts (3)
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts (4)

#IOTW: Idioms related to education and school

  1. Easy as ABC. Meaning: very easy.
    • Example:
      • “Learning mathematics is easy as ABC.”
  1. Bookworm. Meaning: someone who reads a lot
    • Example:
      • “No wonder she is genius. She is a bookworm.”
  1. Brainstorm. Meaning: try to develop idea or think of a new idea.
    • Example:
      • “In this group discussion, we need to brainstorm for our environment campaign.”
  1. Call the roll. Meaning: call students’ names on a roll and expect them to answer if they are there.
    • Example:
      • “Every morning when the class starts, the teacher calls the roll.”
  1. Cap and gown. Meaning: a special cap called a mortarboard and a special robe which is worn in academic ceremony.
    • Example:
      • “The students wore cap and gown on their graduation day.”
  1. Count noses. Meaning: to count the number of people.
    • Example:
      • “The teacher stopped to count the nose several times during the field trip.”
  1. Cover a lot of ground. Meaning: to complete a lot of material in a class or course.
    • Example:
      • “I covered a lot of ground in Physics class last semester.”
  1. Cow college. Meaning: a school where farming or agriculture is studied.
    • Example:
      • “He graduated from cow college in America.”
  1. Crack a book. Meaning: to open a book to study (usually used in the negative)
    • Example:
      • “It shocked me when I got my test result. It was good although I didn’t crack a book that much.”
  1. Crank out a paper. Meaning: to write a paper or essay in mechanical way.
    • Example:
      • “I have to crank out a paper to pass this subject.”


Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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#IOTW: Idioms for overwhelmed multitasker

Have you ever tried to do more than one thing at a time, e.g., tasks or activities? Did you succeed in accomplishing all of them?

Well, I always try to find occasions where I can squeeze more activities while doing another because I always have so much things that I want to do. Sometimes I succeed because they’re relatively easy, like ironing my clothes while listening to a thought-provoking podcast. But sometimes I fail, like when I tried singing along to my playlist while writing. I ended up writing what I sang! And apparently, that’s a problem that a lot of us have in common, that there are actually several idioms about doing multiple things at the same time. So now I want to share you some of those idioms about doing multiple things at the same time, or as we like to call it, multitasking.
1. To walk and chew gum (at the same time): to be able to do more than one thing at a time.
  • Example:
    • You’re the kind of person who walks and chew gum at the same time, so I guess this task load won’t be a problem for you.
2. To spread oneself too thin: to try to do too many things at once.
  • Example:
    • I think Sarah is spreading herself too thin, she takes 10 courses this semester, works at the lab, and teaches several private students.
3. To have too many irons in the fire: to be engaged in too many activities.
  • Example:
    • Would you please do the dishes tonight? I’m having too many irons in the fire right now to do the chores.
4. Torn between something and something: finding it very difficult to choose between two possibilities.
  • Example:
    • I’m torn between writing my field trip report and writing the new article for my community.
Wow, at this point it starts to get a more and more overwhelming, right, fellas?
5. To rob Peter to pay Paul: to pay a debt, obligation, etc. by creating or leaving unpaid another.
  • Example:
    • I haven’t finished sewing the blue dress, but I’m gonna have to rob Peter to pay Paul again, because I only have 6 hours to knit this hat.
6. To burn the candle at both ends: to work oneself from early in the morning until late at night and get very little rest.
  • Example:
    • He has to burn the candle at both ends every day if he wants to be able to cover his family expenses.
7. To fall between two stools: to fail to achieve either of two aims as a result of not being able to choose one to focus on.
  • Example:
    • We need to narrow our target now in order not to fall between two stools.
Is there any idiom that relates with your multitasking activity right now, fellas? Which idiom is it?

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, February 2, 2017

#IOTW: Idioms about hard work

Hi, fellas! How are you? I’ve been working my fingers to the bone to finish my tasks today, to exaggerate a bit.

If any of you are students, these days might be your busiest too, I guess, because the end of the school term is pretty close. Before you get the holiday you deserve at the end of this month, you have to work hard for exams first.

So maybe you want to know some idioms you can use to express the hard work you’re going through. Well, here are some idioms related to hard work that we have curated for you:

  1. Blood, sweat and tears. Meaning: a lot of effort and suffering.
    • Example:
      • It must have taken the author’s blood, sweat, and tears to write this really good novel.
  2. Fight tooth and nail. Meaning: to use a lot of effort to oppose someone or achieve something.
    • Example:
      • He’s fighting tooth and nail to get his manuscript accepted by the end of this year.
  3. Go the extra mile. Meaning: to do more and make a greater effort than is expected of you.
    • Example:
      • I have achieved the monthly sale goal, but there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile to get more items sold.
  4. Go into overdrive. Meaning: to start working very hard.
    • Example:
      • As this term reach its end, the students go into overdrive and review their notes every day.
  5. Keep nose to grindstone. Meaning: to continue to work very hard without stopping.
    • Example:
      • She has been keeping her nose to grindstone for the SNMPTN test next week.
  6. Make headway. Meaning: to make progress.
    • Example:
      • Kevin continues to make headway to become a good animator.
  7. Pull out all the stops. Meaning: to do everything you can to make something successful.
    • Example:
      • Jan has been pulling out all the stops to get accepted to a medical school and now her efforts have paid off.
  8. Sink your teeth into. Meaning: to start to do something with a lot of enthusiasm.
    • Example:
      • Software development is something she has always wanted to sink her teeth into.
  9. Burn the candle at both ends. Meaning: to get little sleep because you are busy.
    • Example:
      • With the deadline only one week away, he has to burn the candles at both ends to finish his draft.
  10. Pull your socks up. Meaning: to make an effort to improve your work.
    • Example:
      • You have to pull your socks up if you want to get an A on this subject.

Source: Cambridge Idioms Dictionary


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, December 1, 2016


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#IOTW: Outer Space Idioms

  1. Out of this world. Meaning: extraordinary.
    • Example:
    • I climbed Mount Sindoro last week. Man, the view from up there were out of this world!

  2. Living on another planet. Meaning: not realizing what is going on; having unreasonable ideas.
    • Example:
    • They think they can run that kind of business with just 50 million rupiahs in their hands. It’s like they’re living on another planet.

  3. Living in cloud cuckoo land. Meaning: believing naively that impossible things might happen.
    • Example:
    • If you think the designer can finish that amount of work in three days you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

  4. (Having) stars in one’s eyes. Meaning: hopeful and enthusiastic about what is going to happen to you in the future.
    • Example:
    • I see some of the new students enter their first ever classroom with stars in their eyes.

  5. Written in the stars. Meaning: certain to happen, intended to be.
    • Example:
    • It’s written in the stars that he would become the king of our kingdom.

  6. Not rocket science. Meaning: requires no extraordinary skill or intelligence.
    • Example:
    • Simply plug in the power cord and push the power button. It’s not rocket science.

    • “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plug in the power cord and push the power button.”


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 13, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms that Involve Roads and Paths

Hey fellas! In this #IOTW session, I’m going to share ten idioms that involve roads and paths. So, without further ado, let me present them to you…

Cross your path: to happen to you, e.g., I hope you’ll gain the strength you need to face whatever crosses your path.

Bump in the road: A problem that arises and interferes with forward progress (usually only temporarily), e.g., We hit some bumps in the road during the research, but our paper finally made it to the publication.

Off the beaten path/track: away from the frequently traveled routes; not known or popular with many people, e.g., She explored that hill and found a nice little antique shop off the beaten path.

Lead someone down the garden path: to deceive someone, e.g., When traveling alone, always be careful in order to not let a stranger take advantage of you and lead you down the garden path.

Go down that road: to decide to take a particular action that you can not easily undo, e.g., Well, you can lie your way into dating her, but you know the consequences. Are you sure you want to go down that road?

Hot on the trail: very close to finding something or catch up with someone, e.g., Can you call me again later? I’m hot on the trail of my lost cat right now.

On the right track: in progress toward the desired result, e.g., Fred starts to feel that his team is finally on the right track to finding the culprit.

Where the rubber meets the road: at the point in a process where there are challenges, issues, or problems, e.g., Writing down every sentence that comes to your mind is the easy part. Rearranging them to make a good essay is where the rubber meets the road.

Lose track: to no longer be informed or know about something or someone, e.g., I lost track of all my elementary school friends since I left Sumatra.

Royal road: a way or method that presents no difficulties, e.g., There is no royal road to a real success.

And that’s that, fellas. You can try to use those idioms once in a while in your writing or daily conversation. Just remember not to overuse them.


Source: Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs, American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on September 15, 2016.

#IOTW: Idioms Expressing Anger

Anger is an emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. Here are some idioms you can use to express anger.

  1. Get on my nerves. Meaning: If someone getting on your nerves, they are doing something that is annoying or irritating.
    • Example:
      • “The boys living upstairs are so noisy, they’re getting on my nerves.
  2. To see red. Meaning: If someone sees red, it means they suddenly become very angry.
    • Example:
      • “When she hung up the phone, I saw red. I’ve never been so angry in my life.”
  3. To go ballistic. Meaning: If someone goes ballistic, they become violently and uncontrollably angry.
    • Example:
      • “My mom went ballistic when she saw the broken vases.”
  4. Black mood. Meaning: If someone is having a black mood, they are irritable, angry or even depressed.
    • Example:
      • “You’d better keep away from Sara today. She’s in a total black mood.
  5. Kick yourself. Meaning: If you feel like kicking yourself, you are angry with yourself for something you have or haven’t done.
    • Example:
      • “I could have kicked myself for messing up your birthday.”
  6. To be hopping mad. Meaning: If someone is hopping mad, they are so angry that they’re almost jumping/hopping around with rage.
    • Example:
      • “His parents were hopping mad when he broke the window.”
  7. To throw a wobbly. Meaning: If someone throws a wobbly, they are suddenly lose one’s self-control and become angry.
    • Example:
      • “She threw a wobbly when she saw his boyfriend looking at another girl.”

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, August 27, 2016

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#IOTW: Money related idioms

  1. Cost an arm and a leg (verb). Meaning: to cost a lot of money.
    • Example:
      • Our new house cost an arm and a leg, but we love it!
  2. Chicken feed (noun). Meaning: a small amount of money.
    • Example:
      • His salary is chicken feed. It can’t even pay the rent.
  3. Down-and-out (adj). Meaning: having no money.
    • Example:
    • Don’t ask me out this weekend, I’m down-and-out!
  4. Lay out money (verb). Meaning: to spend or pay money.
    • Example:
      • The couple has laid out money for their wedding. They can’t cancel it now!
  5. As sound as a dollar (adj). Meaning: very secure and dependable.
    • Example:
      • The investment is as sound as a dollar, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.


Compiled for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 1 June, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms from the middle ages

1. Apple of someone’s eye. Meaning: a figure for a much loved person or thing.

This phrase reminds me of a 2011 Taiwanese film. It’s a very relate-able movie. Please bear with me, because the explanation on how this idiom was coined is a little bit intricate.

So in the Middle Ages, our pupils (the thing in our eyes, not students) are thought to be apple-shaped. Since it’s essential for our sight, it has to be cherished, loved, and protected.

And then, et voila! You are the apple of my eye means you are my much loved person. Congratulations!

2. To play devil’s advocate. Meaning: to pretend to be against an idea or plan which a lot of people support in order to make people discuss it in more detail.

Devil’s advocate is someone or a group of people who takes a position against the current conformed argument. Devil’s advocate’s job is to propose or bring up all evidences or opinions against current ideas to see the weak points of said ideas.

It was translated directly from Latin ‘advocatus diaboli’.

3. To sink or swim. Meaning: to succeed or fail by own efforts.

This phrase refers to a water ordeal, a medieval practice of judging whether a person is guilty or innocent.

The belief was based on the water wouldn’t accept a guilty person. So if the person is sinking, then he is innocent. Of course the meaning of this phrase has been adjusted since the water ordeal isn’t practiced anymore.

4. To throw down the gauntlet. Meaning: to challenge someone to an argument or figurative combat.

A gauntlet is a knight’s piece of armor that protects his forearm and hand. It was common in the medieval times to challenge someone by throwing down a gauntlet, hence the idiom.


Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 22, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms with ‘smile’

Hey, Fellas! How are you? I hope your day went well. This time, I will share some idioms using the word ‘smile.’

  1. Plastic smile. Meaning: a forced, artificial smile.
    • Example:
      • “Look at Leo’s plastic smile! He’s good at that!”
  2. Fortune is smiling (up)on (someone). Meaning: someone is especially lucky, fortunate, or successful.
    • Example:
      • “Fortune is smiling on Jenny! After getting a promotion, she has just won a lottery!”
  3. Crack a smile. Meaning: to grin; to smile.
    • Example:
      • “I always love when she cracks a smile.”
  4. Wipe the smile off your face. Meaning: to stop looking happy or pleased.
    • Example:
      • “Berry can’t wipe the smile off his face after his kiss with Becky!”
  5. Smile on. | meaning: to regard someone or something with favor or approval.
    • Example:
      • “Good fortune smiled on our efforts, and our plan succeeded.”

That’s the end of our article for now. Don’t forget to crack a smile before the day ends!


Compiled and written by @EnglishTips4U for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 24, 2016


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#IOTW: Prepositional idioms

Heyho, fellas! How’s your day? My schedule today was so chaotic in account of my poor time management. Thank God it’s over now.

Let’s talk about Prepositional Idioms this time. I used one in my opening paragraph. Did anyone notice which idiom I used? The prepositional idiom I used was “in the account of” which meant “because of.”

There are hundreds of idioms which begin with prepositions in English. I will share just a few of them.

  1. At any rate. Meaning: whatever happens or is happening.
    • Example:
      • “At any rate, you shouldn’t quit your job.”
  2. At a loss. Meaning: speechless; unsure of what to do or say.
    • Example:
      • “Jack was terribly confused–really at a loss.”
  3. Beside the point. Meaning: irrelevant.
    • Example:
      • “Your opinion is interesting, but beside the point.”
  4. In the long run. Meaning: in the end; eventually.
    • Example:
      • “In the long run,moving to the new apartment may be a good thing.”
  5. Out of character. Meaning: unlike one’s usual behavior.
    • Example:
      • “It was out of character for Joshua to act so immature.”
  6. Under fire. Meaning: being shot at; being criticized.
    • Example:
      • “The parliament is under fire for being too noisy.”
  7. Up in the air.  Meaning: (about someone or something) undecided / uncertain about someone or something.
    • Example:
      • “Will the company fire all of its employees? That’s up in the air.”
  8. With a vengeance. Meaning: with great force or energy.
    • Example:
      • “Hilda works out with a vengeance when she goes to the gym.”


Compiled and written by @EnglishTips4U for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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#IOTW: Work related idioms

  1. Start/get the ball rolling. Meaning: to take the first step to begin a process.
    • Example:
      • This February, we’ll start the ball rolling on the new project.
  2. Line of work. Meaning: job field; type of work.
    • Example:
      • The construction worker said that injuries were common in his line of work.
  3. Talk shop. Meaning: to talk about work-related things.
    • Example: 
      • Next outing day, let’s not talk shop and have a lot of fun instead!
  4. Call the shots. Meaning: to make the decisions.
    • Example: 
      • Tina needs to call the shots because her boss is away.
  5. Be in the red. Meaning: at a deficit; running at a loss; losing money.
    • Example:
      • The store has been in the red since the end of last year.
  6. Red tape. Meaning: bureaucracy; formal rules that usually make something hard to do.
    • Example:
      • Jessica’s working permit was held up for 2 months because of red tape.
  7. Slack off. Meaning: to work unproductively and lazily.
    • Example:
      • Because the boss is on holiday, everyone at the office slacks off.


Compiled and written for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 20 January, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms from Justin Bieber’s songs

Here are some idioms we can learn from Justin Bieber’s song.

1. Fun and games. Meaning:  playing around and doing worthless things.

It’s taken from his song, “Stuck In The Moment”.

“It’s all fun and games ’til someone gets hurt.”


  • I’ve had enough fun and games. Now, let’s get down to work.

2. Storybook ending. Meaning:  to have a happy or perfect ending, just like one in a children’s story.

It’s taken from his song, “Fairytale”.

“I know that you want the perfect wedding. You deserve a story book ending”


  • It would have been storybook stuff if he had won the competition.

3. Rain on my parade. Meaning:  to ruin or spoil someone’s plan.

It’s taken from his latest hits, “Love Yourself”.

“For all the time that you rain on my parade, and all the clubs you get in using my name“


  • I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but the ticket you’re asking is not available anymore.

4. Forever and a day. Meaning:  to do something eternally, or in a long period of time.

It’s taken from his song, “U Smile”.

“I’d wait on you forever and a day, hand and foot.”


  • I can’t wait to read his new book. He’s been working on it forever and a day.

5. (wait on) hand and foot. Meaning : to do everything for someone; a never-ending effort.

It’s also taken from his song, “U Smile”.

“I’d wait on you forever and a day, hand and foot.”


  • I don’t want you to wait on me hand and foot. I can take care of myself.


Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, July 23, 2016



#IOTW: Legal and law idioms

This time, I would like to share some idioms related to legal and law. Are you guys interested, fellas? Let’s get started!

  1. Null and void. Meaning: something which has already been cancelled. The phrase is actually redundant since null means “void.” Example: The court case against the company was null and void. The company had settled the lawsuit out of court.
  2. Cease and desist. Meaning: to stop immediately and permanently. Separately, cease means to stop and desist means not to re-start. Example: The man was given a cease and desist order to stop bothering her.
  3. Turn a blind eye to. Meaning: to see something wrong or suspicious but is pretending not to see any. Example: Many people turned a blind eye to corruption happened in their country.
  4. Fine print. Meaning: an important part of a document that is written in fine or small text that is usually overlooked or ignored. Example: I did not realize how much interest of the loans is until I read the fine print of the contract.
  5. Take the law into one’s own hands. Meaning: to seek justice on their own, without legal authority. Example: They took the law into their own hands and beat the thieves.
  6. Under the table. Meaning: to get something done secretly, usually because it is illegal or unethical. Example: They offered him money under the table to change his mind.
  7. Beat the rap. Meaning: to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Example: He is charged with shoplifting, but somehow he can beat the rap.


It’s a wrap for tonight. I hope the new idioms were useful for you. :)

Source: http://hubpages.com/

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, February 6, 2016

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#IOTW: Idioms for new beginnings

January is always the perfect time to make some changes in life, right? Do you have any plans in changing your (bad) habits? Whatever changes you are planning to do, we wish you the best of luck! In this installment, we will give you some idioms for new beginnings!
  1. At a crossroads. Meaning: at the point where a decision must be made.
    • Example:
      • We are at a crossroads where we must choose to stay or leave this job.
  2. A breath of fresh air. Meaning: a refreshing or invigorating change.
    • Example:
      • The new manager is like a breath of fresh air for this company. She keeps making progressive changes.
  3. New blood. Meaning: new personnel; new members brought into a group to revive it.
    • Example:
      • The board needs some new blood this year.
  4. To break new ground. Meaning: to begin to do something that no one else has done.
    • Example:
      • The Australian doctors are breaking new ground in prostate cancer treatment.
  5. To shake something up. Meaning: to cause big changes in a situation or organization.
    • Example:
      • Every new boss likes to shake things up a bit when they take over.
Compiled and written by @FaridArdian for @EnglishTips4u on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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