Potang Ina Mo

Topics: Idiom, Phrase, Collocation Pages: 8 (1305 words) Published: March 5, 2011
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


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


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


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: misread the future


He is betting on the wrong horse if he keeps supporting the other city in their bid for the games.

5. bull in a china shop

MEANING: a person with no tact who upsets others or upsets plans


He is like a bull in a china shop so you should be careful if you invite him to your house for the weekend.

6. cash cow

MEANING: a good way to make money


The new business is a great cash cow. We are making a lot of money now.

7. cat get one’s tongue

MEANING: can’t speak because of shyness


The cat must have got her tongue. She did not saying anything at all.

8. cat nap

MEANING: a short sleep taken during the day


I had a cat nap during the afternoon so I would feel refreshed in the evening.

9. change horses in midstream

MEANING: make new plans or choose a new leader in the middle of an important activity


They have decided to change lawyers but I told them that they shouldn’t change horses in midstream.

10. copycat

MEANING: someone who copies another person’s work etc.


He is a copycat according to the other students in the class.

11. cry wolf

MEANING: give a false alarm; warn of a danger that is not there.


He is crying wolf. There is no real danger or worry about the electrical system causing a fire.

12. curiosity killed the cat

MEANING: being too nosy may lead a person into trouble


You shouldn’t worry about what he is doing. Remember curiosity killed the cat.

13. dark horse

MEANING: a candidate little known to the general public


He was a dark horse in the race to be President until he gave some good speeches on TV.

14. dog-eat-dog

MEANING: ready or willing to fight and hurt others to get what one wants


It is a dog-eat-dog world outside the father said to his young son.

15. donkey's years

MEANING: a very long time


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