Idioms and Meanings – Have Fun with Idioms!

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Idioms and Meanings

Have fun with idioms and meanings. If you are a language learner, you either have to be with it or you aren’t going to win it, in today’s English speaking world!

Teaching idioms is fun! Knowing how to use idioms add flair to your conversations, to entertain to your audience.

In this video idioms lesson, I am going to give you a quick overview about idioms and meanings with some examples thrown in. I hope you find useful.

Hi, I am Manoj from Learning English from a native speaker. Welcome to my idioms and meanings lesson.

Idioms ‘spice up’ conversations and lend wit to dialogues.

Most English-speakers ‘pepper’ their speech with interesting words or phrases. Now there’s an idiom for you!

The word ‘idiom’ is of Greek origin and means ‘one of a kind’. It cannot be taken literally and usually means something quite different. If you call someone a “dark horse” it does not mean the person is a dark coloured horse. It means this person is likely to surprise us by rising above expectations. Or to use another idiom, there is ‘more to him than meets the eye’!

Idioms often don’t seem to have any connection to what is being put into words. For those who are learning to speak and write the English language, understanding and using idioms can be difficult. More so, as English speakers often mistakenly assume their listeners know idioms and use them in their conversations.

So, don’t let the talk get away from you. You could say add your own ‘two bits worth’ to the dialogue and ‘feel part of the crowd’!

Why would you use idioms?
When we try to explain something difficult, idioms help us emphasize our feelings or explain situations better – than using plain words. You could say you are ‘climbing up the wall’ trying to work with idioms!

Does that make sense? Don’t worry. Practice — and you will get there.

Where do idioms come from?
Idioms often come from language peculiar to a particular trade, profession or even sports. A ‘dark horse’ is one of the racing idioms, to mean a horse that wins a race unexpectedly. How about using another idiom in racing: winning ‘against all odds’. The meaning of against all odds is to make something happen, despite the chances of it happening being low.

Will you know it if you hear it?
You will – when someone uses strange sounding phrases or words to explain something. An idiom does not make literal sense. You could say it sounds, ‘All Greek to me’, meaning that you don’t understand it at all.

When do you use idioms?
Only when you are sure of their meanings and can comfortably use them in your speech to ‘drive home’ certain points, to emphasize what you are saying. Be careful though, as some idioms may seem to mean the same thing but actually have different meanings. ‘Climbing up the wall’ and ‘drive someone up the wall’ sound similar but don’t actually mean the same thing. ‘Climbing up the wall’ is used to describe feeling extremely frustrated. When you ‘drive someone up the wall’ it means annoying the person.

Close but not the same.

Is it a good thing to learn idioms?
Yes, it is good thing to learn idioms even though it is not ‘easy as pie’ (very easy) but, once you know them they can be the icing on the cake when making a speech or writing an essay.

What is the best way to learn idioms?
Read, watch and listen! Reading English books, watching English programmes and listening to English speakers is the ‘answer to your idiomatic prayers’! Being exposed to the English language in all its forms will help understand idioms better. Just as Rome was not built in a day, it will take time and an abiding interest to learn idioms.

Idioms and meanings. I hope you enjoyed this idioms lesson and found this video useful. I would love to hear your comments below about idioms.

There are loads more idioms and I will be coming up with videos to illustrate their usage and origins. If you like this video, do share it with your family and friends and please subscribe to my channel.

Have fun with idioms.

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Manoj Nair


Hi! I am Manoj and I am an English language blogger from Singapore.

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