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V.7.2 - Idiomatic Language

Why do we say 'Veg Out'

Average: 4.2 (12 votes)

'After a busy day it's good to veg out on the sofa.'

Meaning: to relax in a lazy and inattentive way. Basically, we are 'vegging out' when we sit on the sofa for a long time doing nothing and hardly moving.

Why do we say 'The Real McCoy'?

Average: 3.3 (11 votes)

 

'This fighter is great. He's the real McCoy, no doubt about it.'

Meaning: the real thing – not a substitute/ fake. Another 'name' based expression, although in this case, nobody seems absolutely sure as to where it originated from.

Why do we say 'Hobson's Choice'?

Average: 3.9 (10 votes)

'You can have a white horse or a white horse...that's Hobson's choice!'

Meaning: to have no choice at all. The only option you have is the one that is being offered to you.

Why do we say 'Barking up the Wrong Tree'?

Average: 3.8 (13 votes)


 


Meaning: Following a dead end path; Being totally wrong about something you believed to be true.

 

When using dogs in a foxhunt, the dogs would sometimes corner the fox in a tree and then proceed to bark up at the fox. Barking up the wrong tree, where there is no fox, is a pointless exercise.

Why do we say 'Bob's your Uncle'?

Average: 4.2 (25 votes)

 

This expression is  mainly used in Britain. It is often used immediately after a set of simple instructions and roughly means the same as '... and it's as simple as that!'

Why do we say 'Beat about the Bush'?

Average: 3.2 (24 votes)

 

No. Not that Bush.

Why do we say 'Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining'?

Average: 3.4 (214 votes)

"Don't be unhappy that your boyfriend broke up with you - every cloud has a silver lining".  What does this idiom mean?

Meaning:

Every cloud has a silver lining means that you should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun.

Why do we say 'Three Sheets to the Wind'?

Average: 3 (9 votes)

 

'Don't drink too much tonight, you were three sheets to the wind last weekend.'

This expression is used to describe someone who is drunk to the point of being unable to stand up straight. The ‘sheets’ here refer to the sails of a windmill rather than bed linen. Windmill operators used to add or remove the number of sails according to the strength of the wind.