Idiom in Y – Yellow Press

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Hello dear students and welcome back to My Little English Page. It’s been a while but I am back to finish the series…One more to go! This week I posted a series of slides with yellow expressions on Instagram and Facebook. So let’s follow on the colour yellow with the letter Y of the alphabet series.

Make sure to check the previous post in the alphabet series Idiom in X | X Marks the Spot

What it means:

The yellow press is a term for the popular and sensationalist newspapers. This type of newspaper uses big catchy titles and misleading information (often not accurate).

When to use it:

  • Yellow journalism/press is an American term so it’s probably best to use it in the US.

Example: I can’t believe you read that kind of newspaper. It’s all over exaggerated and full of lies. I really can’t stand the yellow press.

  • In the UK, the term red tops is much more commonly used (British Tabloids usually have a red title…that’s where the name comes from).

Example: What are you doing reading that red top? Don’t you know it’s full of crap?

Other interesting idioms:

Yesterday’s news – Someone or something that is yesterday’s news is something people already know about, no longer interesting.

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family – Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you make the best of what you have. It is often used to talk about people who don’t have a good relationship with their family.

You can’t unring a bell – This means that once something has been done, that’s how it is and you can’t change it. So, you have to live with the consequences.

You get what you pay for – When you get something really cheap you cannot complain about the low quality.

Your call – If something is your call, you make a decision.

 


 

Keep on learning!

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Idiom in T – Think Outside the Box

What it means:

If you think outside the box, you think in an imaginative and creative way.

How to use it:

People tend to use this idiom as a way to encourage others to be creative. It does not only refer to arts and crafts but anything that might be done in a non conventional way.

  • People who live in extremely small apartments have to think outside the box to make a comfortable living space.
  • You could be trying to solve a riddle and someone tells you to think outside the box. This means do not do what seems obvious, think further.

Other interesting idioms:

Take a nosedive – When things take a nosedive, they decline very quickly and head towards disaster.

Take by storm – To take by storm means to captivate- eg. A new play that took New York City by storm.

The ball’s in your court – If somebody says this to you, they mean that it’s up to you to decide or take the next step.

The grass is always greener – This idiom means that what other people have or do looks preferable to our life. The complete phrase is ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’.

 

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Idiom in S – Safety in Numbers

Welcome to 2018 first blog post! Christmas and New Year’s Eve are long gone and have left me with quite a few extra kilos on my hips…How bad is it for you?

Let’s tackle our weekly idiom!

What it means:

If a lot of people do something risky at the same time, the risk is reduced because there is safety in numbers.

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at some examples of when this idiom could be used.

  • It is commonly used with animals. Gazelles stay in packs as a defense mechanism against predators. Lions are less likely to attack an animal in a group, than one which is isolated. The groups can also come to the rescue of the lone animal. Safety in numbers…
  • Your parents probably used this idiom very often when you were a teenager. It still applies no matter what your age is though. When you go out, you should never have to walk alone outside in the street. Having someone, or even better a group, with you is the best protection as people are more likely to be intimidated and leave you alone.

Other interesting idioms:

Scaredy-cat – It is a person who gets scared easily by very little.

Safe and sound – If you are safe and sound, then nothing has harmed you.

Salt in a wound – If you rub salt in a wound, you make someone feel bad about something that is already a painful experience. (similar to add insult to injury)

Same old, same old – It means that something is the same, it does not change.

 

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Idiom in O – Off the Grid

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The 15th idiom of the series! Have you ever heard of this one? Well, sometimes it is good to get off the grid for a while.

What it means:

To make it simple it means “not connected”.

How to use it:

It can be used in many different ways. Here are just a few:

  • Not connected to social media or internet.

I tried contacting Pepe via Whatsapp but I just remembered that he is on a retreat so he will be off the grid for a while.

  • Not connected to services (water, electricity…):

Once our solar panels generate enough power, we’ll be able to go off the grid.

  • Not under governmental control:

The inventor of the Bitcoin currency is still unknown to this date. He is completely off the grid.

Other interesting idioms:

On a roll – If someone is on a roll they are experiencing good luck and success (ex: So, you found a ten pound note on the floor this morning and your boss gave you a day off? You’d better play the lottery today because you are on a roll).

On board – To be on board means that you are willing to do something (ex: I asked Mark if he wanted to come with us to Madrid this weekend and he said that he was on board).

Open book – If a person is an open book they are easy to understand and to know (ex: I know you like that boy, it is obvious. You are like an open book).

Open secret – Something that is supposed to be a secret but that everyone knows (ex: Marilyn Monroe and John Kennedy had a relationship. It was an open secret).

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

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Idiom in L – Learn the Ropes

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New entry in the series, letter L.

What it means:

If you are learning the ropes of something, you are learning how to do it.

When to use it:

There are millions of ways and situations when you can use this idiom. When I started teaching, I had to learn the ropes of teaching, become familiar with what to do.

It is often associated to starting a new job and getting used to the new tasks it involves.

Here are 2 synonyms of learn the ropes:

  • get the hang of something
  • get the knack of something (the -k- is silent here, like in ‘know’)

Other Interesting Indioms in L:

Last laugh – to finally be more successful than someone who was unpleasant to you or finally succeed after experiencing setbacks.

Lay down the law – give instructions or orders in an authoritarian way (ex: when a mother tells you to clean up your room)

leading edge – sometimes cutting edge – refers to the most advanced position in a field (ex: leading edge technology)

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

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Idiom in K – Keep at Bay

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And we continue this series of idioms with the letter -K-

What it means:

If you keep something, or someone, at bay it means that you are preventing them from coming too close, whether it is physically or metaphorically. (Also hold something at bay)

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at the physical aspect of it. If you keep someone at bay, you do what you can to keep them far from you. A typical example could be an overprotective dad keeping any of his daughter’s suitors at bay and scaring them (Who has a dad like that? Mine used to say that he would cut all my future boyfriends’ ears  and make them pointy like elves…Do not ask me why…You know, funny dads!)

But then I also mentioned a metaphorical aspect. By this, I am actually referring to abstract things such as sadness or hunger. I could for instance say that a nice cup of tea keeps the cold at bay in winter.

Other interesting idioms in K:

 Keep a straight face – To stay serious and not to laugh despite wanting to.

Kick a habit – Stop doing something (that you are used to doing)

Knight in shining armour – A person who saves you when you are in great trouble

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

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