Idiom in Z | Zip it


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Hello dear students and welcome back!

Today is the last day of our Alphabet idiom series. Make sure you check the previous idiom Idiom in Y – Yellow Press (and the 25 other posts).

So today we cover just a few idioms that start with the letter Z. There aren’t many in English but they are quite cool and useful. Are you ready for a new vocabulary lesson? Let’s go!

What it means:

It means to be quiet, silent. It is colloquial and could be rude in certain situations.

When to use it:

As I mentioned before, this expression is colloquial so I would not recommend using it with someone of authority. You could perhaps use it with a good friend or a family member.

It is often used as an order and the longer version is “Zip your lip”.

Example: Martha is complaining about eating spinach for dinner? Well tell her to zip and  eat whatever I’ve made, otherwise she can make dinner for the family herself.

 Other interesting idioms:

zenith of your career/life – the highest point of a person’s career or life.

zoom away | zoom off – to be in a hurry, to drive away fast, to be leaving a place in a rush.

I’d love to start a new series for the blog soon, have you got any requests or suggestions?



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Idiom in N – Nick of Time


Because Taylor Swift used this expression in one of her songs, you have to learn it.

What it means:

If something is done in the nick of time it is done last minute. It could also mean that it was done just in time.

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at some examples.

  • A TV game show contestant could answer in the nick of time. The person used all the time available and answered at the last minute.
  • You need to go buy bread but are worried the bakery might already be closed. When you arrive just before they close and manage to buy your bread. You got there in the nick of time.
  • You had an essay due at midnight for university and sent it at 11h59…You handed in your essay in the nick of time.

Other interesting idioms:

Needle in a haystack – when you are looking for something difficult to find because of the surrounding it is like looking for a needle in a haystack (ex: looking for a particular person in a big crowd).

Nerves of steel – a person with nerves of steel does not get frightened easily.

Never a rose without a prick – it means that something good comes with something bad (ex: you find the perfect job which is very interesting and is well paid but you have a longer commute everyday).

No pain, no gain – Success comes with sacrifices (ex: if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise a lot. No pain, no gain!).


Keep on learning!



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Idiom in K – Keep at Bay


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!



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