Idiom

Kill with kindness

Kill with kindness is an idiom that dates back hundreds of years. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom kill with kindness, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Kill with kindness is an idiom that means to be extremely helpful, solicitous, or generous to someone with the intention of causing that person discomfort or harm. For instance, one may feed someone who is trying to lose weight fattening, delicious food. While on …

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To make a long story short

To make a long story short is an idiom rooted in ancient times. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom to make a long story short, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. To make a long story short means to get directly to the important part of a narrative, to leave out unimportant or boring details in one’s story, to leave out irrelevant information. The expression to make a long story short …

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A sight for sore eyes

A sight for sore eyes is an idiom that dates to the 1700s. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom a sight for sore eyes, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. A sight for sore eyes is a welcome sight; it is something or someone that one has missed or longed to see. The expression a sight for sore eyes uses the word sore to mean feeling worried or sorrowful. The idiom …

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Bank on it and take it to the bank

Bank on it and take it to the bank are two versions of an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom bank on it or take it to the bank, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Bank on it and take it to the bank are both idioms that refer to something that one can depend on; they may describe an action, idea, statement, or promise that one can assume to …

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Take one’s chances

Take one’s chances is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than …

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Backhanded compliment and left-handed compliment

Backhanded compliment and left-handed compliment are two versions of an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom backhanded compliment or left-handed compliment, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. A backhanded compliment, also known as a left-handed compliment, is a remark that on its surface seems to convey admiration, though it is also an insult. An example: “You’re so brave to wear that dress.” While the remark is supposed to be taken …

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Catch some rays

Catch some rays is an idiom that is decades old. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom catch some rays, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Catch some rays means to sunbathe, to tan in the sun, to lie in the sun with the intention of obtaining a tan. The idiom catch some rays came into use in the latter half of the 1900s; the popularity of the phrase has soared since …

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A far cry from

A far cry from is an idiom that has murky origins. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom a far cry from, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. A far cry from describes something that is very different from the item it is being compared to. For instance, one may say that sleeping on hay is a far cry from sleeping on a feather bed. The expression a far cry from came …

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Do a Houdini and pull a Houdini

Do a Houdini and pull a Houdini are two versions of an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom do a Houdini or pull a Houdini, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Do a Houdini or pull a Houdini is a phrase that means to disappear or escape; to leave the scene or to wiggle out of a precarious situation. The idiom do a Houdini or pull a Houdini is often …

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Garbage in, garbage out

Garbage in garbage out is an idiom that became popular in the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom garbage in garbage out, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences. Garbage in, garbage out means faulty input yields faulty results. Garbage in, garbage out originally referred to computer input and output; if one wrote a faulty program one would not get the results one sought. However, the expression garbage in, garbage …

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