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My way or the highway

My way or the highway is an idiom that originated in the United States in the 1960s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 a phrase that has a literal … [Read more...]

Play possum

Play possum is an idiom that originated in the United States. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the … [Read more...]

Live and let live

Live and let live is a proverb that is hundreds of years old. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. These language tools particularly give advice or share a universal truth, or impart wisdom. Synonyms for proverb include adage, aphorism, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb … [Read more...]

A slap on the wrist

A slap on the wrist is an idiom that has risen sharply in popularity since the mid-1900s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 a phrase that has a … [Read more...]

Wet blanket

Wet blanket is an idiom with roots in the 1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or … [Read more...]

Whistling past the graveyard

Whistling past the graveyard is an idiom with an uncertain origin. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when … [Read more...]

Poor-mouth vs bad-mouth

Poor-mouth and bad-mouth are two idioms that seem as if they should be related, but the definitions are very different. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 … [Read more...]

Praise vs preys

Praise and preys are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language, and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may … [Read more...]

Bromance

Bromance is a relatively new word believed to have originated in the 1990s. Bromance is a portmanteau. Portmanteaus are words constructed from the blending of two existing words. English is a living language, which means it changes over time. New words are constantly entering the language, evidenced by the Oxford English Dictionary’s policy of adding English words to their lexicon quarterly. There are many avenues for a word to enter into use. New words may be coined from existing words. … [Read more...]

Asleep at the switch and asleep at the wheel

Asleep at the switch and asleep at the wheel are idioms with origins that date back a little over one hundred years. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 … [Read more...]

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