Tag Archives: iotw

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

#IOTW: Idioms to Express Sadness

We are saddened over the massive flood that happened in West and East Nusa Tenggara. Our condolences to all the victims. May the disaster be contained soon.

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

Some idioms to express sadness and grief:
1. Down in the mouth
This is to describe the shape of someone’s lips that is downward because of feeling upset or sad.

“He’s been down in the mouth since he received his test results.”

2. Be reduced to tears
This idiom is used to describe someone overwhelmed by grief or sadness that they begin to cry.

“Jane was reduced to tears when she spoke to her ill father.”

3. Cry one’s heart/eyes out
Describing someone who cries for a long time.

“Lisa patiently listened to Santi as the later cried her heart out.”

4. One’s heart sinks
This idiom is used to express the sudden feeling of unease or unhappiness.

“My heart sunk as soon as I heard the news.”

5. A heavy heart
‘A heavy heart’ describes someone’s heart being heavy due to the weight of sadness.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation from the company.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 5 April 2021.

#IOTW: Idioms about Friendship
#IOTW: Idioms about Personality
#IOTW: Idioms about Skills
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Books and Reading
#IOTW: Idioms That Mention Rome

#IOTW: Idioms with the word ‘hit’

Hello fellas, how are you today? First of all, I want to wish you a happy Eid al-Fitr for you who celebrate it.

In today’s session we will be going to discuss some idioms formed with the word hit. Fellas, can you mention what is the meaning of ‘hit?’

The verb ‘to hit’ means ‘memukul’ in Indonesian language. When put in an idiom, ‘hit’ can change meanings. So fellas, here are idioms with ‘hit’:

1. Hit me
It means ‘say it now’ or ‘tell me’ or ‘give it to me right now.’ It could also mean that something is ‘clear to me’ or ‘I understand.’
E.g.: “And then it hit me. The weather feels so much warmer because of the humidity.”

2. Hit my funny bone
It means ‘something causes me to laugh.’
E.g.: “The word ‘pollywog’ always hits my funny bone.”

3. Hit the nail on the head
It means to ‘say the right word’ or ‘suggest a good idea.’
E.g.: “Your comment hit the nail on the head. You spoke the truth.”

4. Hit speeds of
It means to ‘travel at speeds of.’
E.g.: “The stolen car was hitting speeds of 120 kilometres per hour in the city.”

5. Hit the books
It means to ‘begin studying.’
E.g.: “Exams begin next week. It’s time to hit the books.”

6. Hit the rock bottom
It means to face a very unfortunate situation and and to feel very depressed about it.
E.g.: “After his farm was seized, he hit rock bottom and lost all hope.”

Fellas, now try to answer what exactly is the meaning of the idiom ‘hit and run?’

Thank you for your joining me today, fellas. You can use idioms with the word ‘hit’ to improve your English conversation skill. See you tomorrow.

Compiled and written by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

#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: 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 related to ‘tea’

I got a bit inspired with “tea” today. Having lived in Britain, the idiom related to “tea” is very commonly used. So fellas, do you know any idioms that use the word “tea” the drink?

“Not for all the tea in China” – @LiaSafi3

“Watching heavy metal concert is not my cup of tea.” – @Tuwix

“My cup of tea”

Has anyone heard someone saying like, “Football is not my cup of tea.” Hmmm, so does that mean football is a cup of tea?

“I had heard “not my cup of tea” but I don’t understand the meaning of it…” – @Wesli_S

So, “cup of tea” here refers to “preference” (B.Indo: kesukaan)

To say, “@Tuwix: Watching heavy metal concert is not my cup of tea” is to express that the person prefer not to watch it

“Bukan kesukaan/hobby?” – @dinikurniasih

“Does it mean he/she can not enjoy the match? Doesn’t like football?” – @Uliibaiik

“So, its like “reading novel is my cup of tea”?” – @santikaaz

Yep :)

So another way of translating “cup of tea” is something that you like. Hence, saying “not my cup of tea” (dislike) would be the opposite to saying “my cup of tea” (like). Another translation for “not my cup of tea” could be:

“not my type” – @RidhoRifhansyah

“Not for all the tea in China”

“Not for all the tea in China” is also another idiom related to “tea” the drink, but quite an old fashion one.” – @LiaSafi3

Not for all the tea in China” means not for anything at all or never, am I right?

“: Absolutely right :)” – @LiaSafi3

“Not for all the tea in China” was said to originate from Australia which “alludes to the presumed huge quantity of tea in China.” So, an example would be

  • “No, I will not sell my bicycle, not for all the tea in China.”

Storm in a teacup

And here is another idiom related to “tea”

“I think it is all a storm in a teacup” – @akhyar927

I think it is all a storm in a teacup” means “I think these are all small problems exaggerated“, am I right @akhyar927?

“Exactly! You are completely right!” – @akhyar927

A storm in a teacup” is the British English idiom while “Tempest in a teapot” is the American English idiom.

Di dalam bahasa Indonesia, “a storm in a teacup” bisa disamakan dengan “berlebihan” atau “lebay” dalam konteks suatu masalah/kejadian kecil yang dibesar2kan.


  • “Perkelahian mereka lebay.” (“Their fight was a storm in a teacup”)

So we have “not my cup of tea,” “my cup of tea,” “not for all the tea in China,” and “a storm in a teacup.” It’s interesting how “tea” becomes such idioms, right?

Usually “a storm in a teacup” is more for an event rather than a character. Sadly this is it for today’s #IOTW :) I hope it has been useful and inspires you to learn English :)

Thank you for everyone’s contribution and hope you all enjoyed it :)

“Of course I enjoyed it. Thank you :)” – @puputputreey


Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, January 31, 2015





#IOTW: Heart

Tonight admin wants to share some #IOTW related to Heart.

  1. Aching heart: rasa sakit hati atau sedih karena kehilangan. e.g.  Meg’s mother passed away last year and since then she always visits her graveyard with her aching heart every week.
  2. After one`s own heart: disukai oleh orang lain karena memiliki kesukaan yang sama. e.g. My boyfriend really likes heavy metal, just like my brother. He is after my brother’s heart.
  3. Break someone’s heart: membuat orang lain menjadi sedih. e.g. It broke my heart to see my niece who had lost his parents.
  4. Close to someone’s heart: sesuatu yang sangat penting bagi seseorang. e.g. Luke lives with his mother and his mother’s happiness is very close to his heart.
  5. Cross someone’s heart and hope to die: berjanji bahwa apa yang kamu katakan benar.  e.g. I promise that I’l buy you a present on your birthday. Cross my heart and hope to die.
  6. Die of a broken heart: menderita karena sedih sekali. e.g. Pete almost died of a broken heart when his ex-girlfriend told him to break up with her.
  7. Do someone’s heart good: membuat seseorang merasa bahagia. e.g. It does my heart;s good when I get some smiles from my crush.
  8. Do something in a heartbeat: melakukan sesuatu secepatnya disaat ada kesempatan. e.g. Lucas will quit his jobs in a heartbeat.
  9. Eat someone’s heart out: merasa kesal sekali. e.g. Gerard eats his heart out when Mikey broke his guitar that he won’t forgive him.
  10. Find it in one’s heart to do something: memiliki keberanian untuk melakukan sesuatu.  e.g. I couldn’t find it in my heart to tell my mom that I didn’t pass the exam.
  11. Have a heart of a stone: sangat tidak ramah. e.g. Brandon has a heart of a stone that no one wants to be his friend.
  12. Have a heart of gold: sangat baik hati dan ramah. e.g. My mother always tells me to have a heart of gold and always help other people when I have a chance.
  13. Have someone’s heart set on something: sangat menginginkan sesuatu. e.g. Lyn has her heart set on getting a phone for her birthday.
  14. Heart stands still: merasa sangat takut.  e.g. My heart stood still when our car almost hit a motorcycle.
  15. To someone’s heart’s content: sebanyak yang seseorang inginkan. e.g. My nephew was able to play in the beach to his heart’s content.

I’ve tweeted all of the #IOTW with their meanings. Hope those’ll make your night. Hope all of us will have a heart of gold. Night!

Compiled by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U on April 25, 2013