meaning: not being a winning or successful effort, as if not good enough to earn a cigar as a prize
This term is used when one almost meets with success, but not quite, therefore getting nothing in return. The expression started in the US in the twentieth century, and is said to originate from the practice of fairground stalls giving out cigars as prizes. This phrase would be said to those who failed to win a prize
I know that English students enjoy learning new idioms. I'm sure that over the years you have come across many of them. Today we're going to review your knowledge and hopefully teach you some new ones.
The theme of today's lesson is colour idioms (or color idioms, if you prefer American) spelling. There are lot's of examples of colour idioms in English and here are ten of them. All native English speakers will be familiar with these - are you?
Meaning: There is no more to be said or done; the matter is finished.
"Father said he wouldn't buy you a new car, and that's that." - I won't discuss it any longer.
"I've finished packing all the boxes, and that's that." - The task of packing the boxes is now finished.
When you refer to something as 'the bee's knees', it means that it is of excellent or very high quality.
The origin of this expression is largely unknown, although there are a number of theories. Some people believe that it is a reference to the fact that bees carry pollen in sacks on their knees, and that the expression therefore alludes to this concentrated goodness. Others maintain that the saying is just a corruption of the word 'business'.
Read the sentences and decide if the idioms describe feeling good or bad:
1 - Not so long ago I was down in the dumps. I lost my job. However, last week I jumped for joy when I was offered a new job.
As you know, learning English is more than just learning vocabulary words and grammar rules. To really know the language, you have to know the culture. American football is such a big part of American culture that the vocabulary from this great sport (please hold the chuckles) has seeped into everyday use.
This month's joke is based on the double meaning of the idiom put one's foot down:
1 - To put your foot down - To act firmly / To tell someone strongly that they must do something or that they must stop doing something:
"You can't just let him do what he wants, you'll have to put your foot down."
Here are some idioms which all use the word 'house':
An organisation or a plan that is very weak and can easily be destroyed:
'Although the organisation looked solid it turned out to be a house of cards.'
If two people get on like a house on fire, they like each other very much and become friends very quickly:
'My neighbour and I got on like a house on fire from the first time we met.'
Here are some sample sentences using English idioms. After you read the sentences, see if you can match each idiom with the definition.
1. After he was cut by the team, he turned over a new leaf and started working out.
2. I couldn't believe he actually passed himself off as a native speaker.