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Potang Ina Mo

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  • March 2011
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idiomatic expression
An idiom (Latin: idioma, “special property”, f. Greek: ἰδίωμα — idiōma, “special feature, special phrasing”, f. Greek: ἴδιος — idios, “one’s own”) is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made.[1] There are estimated to be at least 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language.[2] * In linguistics, idioms are usually presumed to be figures of speech contradicting the principle of compositionality; yet the matter remains debated. John Saeed defines an “idiom” as words collocated that became affixed to each other until metamorphosing into a fossilised term.[3] This collocation — words commonly used in a group — redefines each component word in the word-group and becomes an idiomatic expression. The words develop a specialized meaning as an entity, as an idiom. Moreover, an idiom is an expression, word, or phrase whose sense means something different from what the words literally imply. When a speaker uses an idiom, the listener might mistake its actual meaning, if he or she has not heard this figure of speech before.[4] Idioms usually do not translate well; in some cases, when an idiom is translated into another language, either its meaning is changed or it is meaningless.

1. act like an ape

MEANING: behave badly, wildly, foolishly

EXAMPLE:

He has been acting like an ape ever since his girlfriend left him.

2. bark up the wrong tree

MEANING: choose the wrong course of action

EXAMPLE:

He is barking up the wrong tree. He accuses me of causing the computer problem but I was away at the time.

3. Her bark is worse than her bite

MEANING: someone’s words are worse than their action

EXAMPLE:

You shouldn’t worry about her. Her bark is worse than her bite and she is really a very nice person.

4. bet on the wrong horse

MEANING:...

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