Idiom

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30 Dog Idioms and Phrases – Origins and Meanings

Have you wondered why people say, “it’s raining cats and dogs”? Or why “every dog has its day”? Some phrases about dogs have been around for centuries, and we’ve integrated them into ordinary conversations. I actually use a ton of these phrases in writing, but I’ve also grown up hearing them used in various ways. Let’s discover more about the meaning and origin of the sayings with “dog” in them. Where Did Dog Idioms Come From? Like most animal idioms, …

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Man of the cloth

Man of the cloth is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom man of the cloth, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. A man of the cloth is a clergyman, minister, priest, or other religious leader. The expression man of the cloth came into use in the early 1700s; previous to this time, the word cloth was used to mean the particular clothes worn …

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Sleep like a top

Sleep like a top is an idiom that has been in use for hundreds of years; it is mostly used in British English. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom sleep like a top, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. To sleep like a top means to sleep soundly, to rest deeply. Sleep like a top is an idiom and a simile, which is a phrase used in a sentence that is …

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Blowing up one’s phone

Blowing up one’s phone is a fairly new idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom blowing up one’s phone, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Blowing up one’s phone means calling someone incessantly, texting someone incessantly, sending a lot of messages or calls to someone’s phone. Blowing up one’s phone may be because one person is calling or texting incessantly or it may be because more than one person is calling or …

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My dogs are barking

My dogs are barking is an American idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom my dogs are barking, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. My dogs are barking is a phrase that simply means my feet hurt. In this case, the word dogs means feet and the word barking means hurts. The expression my dogs are barking can be traced to journalist T. Dorgan, who worked for the New York Evening Journal. …

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Take a shot

Take a shot is an interesting idiom because it has several different meanings. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom take a shot, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Take a shot is a phrase that may be used literally to mean to shoot at something; however, the term may also be used figuratively to mean 1.) to make an attempt or to try something, 2.) to attempt to score while playing …

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Blaze a trail

Blaze a trail is an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom blaze a trail, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Blaze a trail means to lead the way, to be a pioneer, to be the first to do something with the assumption that others will eventually follow. The expression blaze a trail can also be used literally to mean to mark a trail by cutting notches in trees, tying flags …

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Road hog

Road hog is an idiom that dates back decades. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom road hog, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. A road hog is a driver of a vehicle who takes up more than his fair share of space on the road, straddles two lanes, drives fast and recklessly, or doesn’t consider the safety and rights of others on the road. A road hog is a dangerous driver …

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Weigh in

Weigh in is an idiom that dates back decades. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom weigh in, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Weigh in is an idiom that means to bring one’s influence to bear in a discussion or argument. The idiom weigh in first came into use in the 1880s to mean to present something significant; by the first decade of the 1900s, the idiom weigh in came to …

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Heavy-handed

Heavy-handed is an idiom that is also a compound word. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom heavy-handed, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Heavy-handed means overbearing, harsh, excessive, and forceful. Heavy-handed also means clumsy, inept, awkward, or tactless. Something that is heavy-handed is accomplished without finesse. The idiom heavy-handed is a hyphenated compound word. A compound word is a word derived from two or more separate words used together to create …

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