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Express emotions and show off your knowledge of the language: 20 English idioms for all occasions


Source: theory and practice

When words are not enough to culturally convey the whole spectrum of emotions, idioms come to the rescue, writes theory and practice.

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There are a great many idioms in the Russian language, and we use them without hesitation. Another thing is when you need to screw a beautiful turn in English. School immediately comes to mind cool as a cucumber or a piece of cake, but there are much more concise and succinct statements in the English language. Here are 20 idioms for all occasions that will help beautifully convey your attitude to any situation and show off your knowledge of the language.

Idiom - indistinguishable speech, the literal meaning of which does not always coincide with the true meaning (throw dust in the eyes), and sometimes even sounds absurd (when the cancer on the mountain whistles) Each language has its own set of idioms. As a rule, it is impossible to translate them literally - you have to look for semantic analogues. Idioms are used in written and spoken language to add brightness, emotionality, emphasize an event, action, quality.

To describe emotions

On pins and needles - a feeling when you are “on pins and needles” (literally). It is generally accepted that the idiom appeared in the XNUMXth century and was originally used to describe the tingling sensation that occurs with numbness in the limbs. In today's world, idiom means strong feelings that we experience in anticipation of any event or news.

- I was on pins and needles the entire time.

“I've been on pins and needles all this time.”

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Blow one's top, which literally means "undermine the top." For a better understanding, imagine a teapot whose lid is about to fly off from how much it has boiled. Idiom used when they say about a man who is still a little bit, and will definitely lose his temper: boil like a teapot, or about to burst with anger.

- Just be cool, man, don't blow your top.

“Just chill out, man, don't boil.”

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To be in the doldrumsin other words - "to be depressed." Initially, this idiom was used by sailors to describe places of the ocean close to the equator, famous for calm, calm and calm. Probably, such sites, getting on the ship's way, seemed to mariners uninteresting and boring, so they fell into depression.

- She's been in the doldrums since her husband left.

“She's been depressed since her husband left.”

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Bent out of shape literally "curved from form." An idiom appeared in the XNUMXth century to describe situations when a person’s mood was “distorted”, that is, changed after resentment, insult or humiliation. Describes a state where the emotional balance loses balance, making a person angry, sad, offended or nervous.

- Don't get all bent out of shape over this.

“You shouldn't get so angry about this.”

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To take someone's breath awayin other words - "breathtaking." Remember your first love and how breathtaking when you see a person ... The idiom perfectly describes that awkward a feeling when, when you see an object of gasp from a confident person, you turn into a mummy, get very worried and don’t know where to put yourself. Well, if romance is alien to you, this idiom is also suitable for describing, say, an extreme trip that makes your heart beat faster, or seeing such a beautiful landscape that it’s hard to breathe.

- She takes my breath away.

“She takes my breath away.”

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To talk about relationships

From the bottom of one's heart, that is, “from the bottom of the heart”, the Russian counterpart is “from a pure heart”. According to rumors, the author of this idiom was Archimedes: the philosopher believed that the brain pumps blood throughout the body, and the heart is responsible for feelings and emotions. therefore everything that is said “from the bottom of the heart” is sincerely and truthfully by default. So if you are guilty of someone but want to make amends, express your feelings like this:

- I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

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Labor of love, which literally translates as "work of love." That’s what they say about the work that we do for free for our own pleasure or pleasure. For the first time, an idiom was found in the Book of Genesis in the story of Jacob, who for 14 years worked absolutely disinterestedly for his uncle, whose daughter he wanted to marry. Jacob sincerely believed that Rachel was worth all the effort. Now the idiom is used rather in the meaning of "Favorite thing" that you do just because you like it.

- For him it was just a labor of love.

- For him, it was work for the soul.

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Through thick and thin - an idiom, better known to Russian people as “in wealth and poverty” or “through fire and water”. That is, we are talking about a state when you are ready, despite all the difficulties, setbacks and failures, to stay close to someone / something, no matter what it costs you. It sounds very romantic, although the idiom was originally used on a hunt, and it sounded like through thicket and thin wood - and meant willingness to go through the thicket, even though a clearing with a pair of trees for the sake of hunting.

- I've been through thick and thin with that car!

- I went through fire and water with this machine!

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Have a bone to pick with someone literally "to have a bone to bite with someone." Used in situations where, like dogs that cannot share bone, humans arrange a showdown, sort things out, argue, and just can't stop. So, if someone annoyed you and you want to figure it out, you can safely open the door and shout:

- Now, I have a bone to pick with you!

- I have a serious conversation with you!

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Kiss and make-up, which means “kiss and make peace” - something like this happens when people find agreement and restore good, trusting relationships after they ate the bone together. A very important skill is to be able to resolve a quarrel when you feel that peace and good relations are much more important and valuable to you.

- I'm glad you two finally kissed and made up.

“I'm glad you finally made peace.”

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To discuss the work ...

To burn the midnight oil, which literally means "burn midnight oil." It is this process that the British imagine when a person is staying up late for some business. Francis Quarls, who in his work Emblems (1635) described the work by candlelight, that is, at night, is considered the author of the idiom. Although lamps have long replaced candles, the idiom is still used. Perhaps it will come in handy for you when you work at night:

- I'm going to burn the midnight oil tonight.

- Today I will work until late.

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Fruits of one's labor, in other words, “the fruits of one's labor”. The idiom is rooted in agriculture and describes the process when a farmer, making an effort to plant and grow a tree, subsequently enjoys the result of his labors, that is, the fruits in the literal sense. The idiom is applicable in situations when you talk about complex but accomplished tasks, after which you can finally be happy for yourself and your efforts.

- It's a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

- Now you can enjoy it.

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daily grind, or "daily grinding." Centuries ago, the verb to grind, which was used to grind grain, was strongly associated with a routine that takes a lot of energy and causes a feeling of extreme fatigue. Idiom now it is appropriate to use when it comes to tiring, painstaking everyday activities.

- I just want to live without the daily grind.

“I just want to live without a boring routine.”

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To keep one's head above water, that is, "keep your head above the water." Imagine a man who was thrown out in the middle of the river and who has nothing left but to try to swim while holding his head on the surface so as not to drown. When we we find ourselves in a difficult life situation, we are looking forward to burning deadlines and a huge load of multiplying tasks, we can safely say:

- I already can't keep my head above water.

“I can’t keep my head above water.”

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To burn the candle at both ends, which literally translates as "burning a candle on both sides." The idiom came into use a very long time ago - back in the XNUMXth century in France. At that time, candles were not the cheapest acquisition, and the desire to burn them on both sides was correlated with a waste of energy and time. Metaphorically a candle that was set on fire from two sides, burned quickly, like a man getting tired after a long and intense work. So if your colleague was late at work again and drowned in deadlines, you can say:

- Burning the candle at both ends, I see.

- Yes, you burn at work, as I look.

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... And money that always disappears somewhere

Money burns a hole in pocket, which literally translates as "money burn a hole in your pocket." Idiom can be described a person who, after a couple of days (or even less) after a salary, was again left without money. The phrase is associated with the expression hot money, which means "money that is swiftly and irrationally spent." Why is it hot? A comparison is made with a person who picks up a burning object and, by inertia, throws it aside, because it wants to quickly get rid of the painful sensation. That is why the money that "disappears" too quickly is called hot.

- The money often burns a hole in his pocket.

- My money does not last long.

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A breadwinner - sounds proudly, agree. This is the name of the person who procured bread for the family, “won” it. At the moment, two versions of the appearance of this idiom are known. According to the first, it is connected with the head of the family, who obtains bread for sustenance, but always able to bring home a woman bought with honestly earned money. According to the second version, which is more widespread, the idiom is connected with the practice of remunerating workers with bread. The more you work, the more you get.

- Tom is the only breadwinner in the family.

“Tom is the only breadwinner in the family.”

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To cost an arm and a leg, which means "too much to cost." If literally, then an expensive purchase costs so much that to acquire it you need to sell part of your own body. The analogue of “fabulous money” or the comic saying “sell a kidney” is popular in Russian.

- Yeah, it's gonna cost an arm and a leg.

- Yes, it will cost a fortune.

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pay through the nose - literally "pay with your nose." As with the previous idiom, it's about something that costs too much to pay (optional in the form of money). The idiom is connected with the sad practice of the Vikings, who in the XNUMXth – XNUMXth centuries punished the Irish who were not able to pay the tax (ounce of gold) by cutting off their nose. One can only rejoice that modern tax institutions do not use the experience of their ancient colleagues.

- My mate always pays through the nose.

- My friend is constantly overpaying.

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to lose your shirt, which literally means "lose the shirt", the analogue in the Russian language is "to remain without pants." The idiom is usually used in two situations: when a person loses all his money in games or when he loses his investments or investments. And she it means not just a little impoverished, but ruined so much that you have to give the last, that is, a shirt (or pants, as you prefer).

- You might still lose your shirt.

“You can still be left without pants.”

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