Learn The Meanings of Commonly Used Idioms

American children grow up hearing idioms all their lives. Most adults take the time to explain what they mean so children can understand. After hearing these sayings so often, no one gives them a second thought. However, English idioms could easily confuse adults from abroad or international students. Just imagine the reaction of a foreign student when they hear “break a leg”. This may come across to them as a horrible thing to say, when in reality someone is expressing good luck. Have fun with these idioms and imagine what you would think if you were still learning English.

Blue Moon

A blue moon is something that rarely ever happens, like seeing a falling star. It can also refer to something that only happens after a long period of time.

Loose Cannon

A loose cannon is a person that most people want to stay away from. This type of person is generally unpredictable and behaves in an odd manner. They may cause damage or trouble for other people.

Fool’s Gold

Fool’s gold is actually one of those English idioms that really states what it is. Rock collectors may find iron pyrite, which is a shiny rock that looks very much like real gold, and believe that it’s the real thing. However, other than its beauty it’s not worth a dime.

Cry Wolf

People who cry wolf are usually looking for attention. They may start an alarm about something that they don’t really need help with. These actions frequently backfire when the person truly does need help.

Dry Run

People often take a dry run to test things out or rehearse a special event like a wedding. You might take a new canoe out for a dry run around the lake to make sure it is in good shape before going on a huge trip with it.

Nest Egg

A nest egg can be anything of value. Money, jewelry, gems, or bonds can all be types of savings for use in the future.

English idioms are a fun way of expressing a meaning or saying. However, they should rarely be taken literally or at face value.


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