10 Interesting Idioms From The Archive

An English teaching classroom is always interesting to look at. From Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ to classic grammar lessons on how to use ‘effect’ and ‘affect’ correctly. Everything takes us back to childhood memories.

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As we grow up we often tend to forget that world. But here is a list of idioms that you have long forgotten. A list that will definitely remind you of your favorite English teacher back in the days.

A doubting Thomas

Have you ever met someone or had a friend who will never believe in things that are said to him/her. You can certainly call her or him a doubting Thomas. In short, a doubting Thomas is one who needs evidence for a widely accepted truth.

My neck of the woods

It simply means a place or area where you live. If next time someone comes up to you and says, “we will hang out next time you pass by the neck of my wood.” Do not get confused by the word neck. The neck word signifies a stretch of road or a narrow path leading to your home.

A sledgehammer to crack a nut

Using a car to cover 200 yards of distance is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. In short, using an excess amount of resources to solve a tiny problem. It can also mean making a simple task seem difficult.

Wipe the floor with someone

It means to defeat someone easily. For example, Max should have never challenged Alex in the competition. He wiped the floor with him at the baseball match yesterday. In other words, a defeat that tastes bitter than a bitter gourd. Also, the defeat is so vulnerable that you might as well use the person to mop the floor.

Pot calling the kettle black

Someone who points out at hypocrisy or is used to pointing out at hypocritical statements and behavior in large. To say, you like to sit all day in front of the mirror but like calling someone else self-obsessed. It is like, the pot is calling the kettle black. Because we all know both the kettle and pot are used for a similar purpose.

Paint the town red

It is the last day of College, so let’s have fun tonight and paint the town red. After all, it is the last time that you get to be together with your friends. Even if you go out on a boisterous spree for the rest of the day, it will be like painting the whole town red. I hope the meaning of this idiom is clear from the example stated above.

Hear it on the grapevine

Hearing a rumor from an unknown source. For example, teachers were discussing something in the hallway and I heard it on the grapevine that the school is going to per-pone exams.

If next time you hear something from an unknown source don’t trust blindly but make sure that you confirm it first from a reliable source.

The heebie-jeebies

State of fear and anxiety means having heebie-jeebies. We all have faced fear and anxiety at one point in life. The intensity varies but those heebie-jeebies have certainly scared the hell out of us.

Interestingly, this word has been used to describe a dance form in the past. But you can always associate this word while watching a scary movie next time.

Donkey’s years

It’s been donkey years since I last tried yoga. If you plan on reducing the belly fat stored up for ages now. Why not try yoga!

On the contrary, if you have not read a novel in donkey’s years, take out time from your busy schedule and start reading it.

So, this is how you can easily use the term in a sentence, meaning ‘a long time’.

It’s all gone Pete Tong

It is rhyming slang for all gone wrong. For example, when it all goes Pete Tong you get back in the game by working hard.

So next time if you find yourself sulking in the corner over something that did not go well. Or else your world turned upside down because of an unfortunate event. Have the power to face the truth and work towards making things better. 

You will often see people using idioms. Most of them are buried deep in the memories. While the others are left ignored. Don’t let the monotonous routine kill your creativity. Use idioms in a conversation, while writing, or to even express something you don’t want the other person to understand. However, make sure that you first know the exact meaning of an idiom.