|Group of words with a meaning of its own that is different from the meanings of each individual word in the group (for example, | |‘It's raining cats and dogs’ means ‘It's raining heavily’ and kick the bucket means ‘to die’); also a style of expression in | |writing, speech, or music that is typical of a particular period, place, or person (for example, ‘a piece of music composed in | |the modern idiom’). |
|Many idioms are used only in spoken and informal language, for example dropping like flies (when many people are becoming ill or | |dying from the same illness). Others, such as the salt of the earth (people having praiseworthy qualities), are acceptable in | |more formal contexts. |
|The words in an idiom are more or less fixed. This means that they cannot be changed; for example, ‘raining geese and goats’ | |cannot be used instead of ‘raining cats and dogs’ to mean ‘raining heavily’, and kick the pail cannot be used instead of kick the| |bucket for the meaning ‘to die’. In other idioms, the words are less fixed; for example, something can be said to be selling or | |going like hot cakes when it is selling very well. |
An idiom, or idiomatic expression, is a phrase or term whose meaning cannot be guessed from a literal definition of the words. If you look up the individual words, the phrase will not make much sense. There are many good websites that will give you lists of slang terms and idioms. WikiAnswers cannot give you a list of 20 or 100 idioms for your assignments. Here are some Related Links to get you started!
Idioms and idiomatic phrases
There are really two types of idioms:
1) idiomatic expressions whose literal meanings...