Idioms Lesson – Groove with these idioms
In this idioms lesson, we are going to look at some funny idioms and meanings and I will be giving examples on how to use idioms in a sentence. These are good idioms to use when writing or speaking as they are amusing, funky and fun.
You may have heard someone say it was a blessing in disguise when something bad happens. You may have even wondered how a bad thing can be a blessing! But when something good comes out of a bad situation, then it is said to be a blessing in disguise.
This idiom has been around since the 18th century but its actual origins are not clear. From the beginning, it has been used to mean something good coming out of a bad situation, a bit like the idiom, every cloud has a silver lining.
Leaving my job to start my own business was a blessing in disguise as I am now a very successful and wealthy business man.
But just as Rome was not built in a day, it takes time to grow a business and make it really successful. The idiom, Rome was not built in a day is used to mean being patient in doing and finishing a task that is too big to be done quickly.
This was originally a French proverb, recorded around 1190: ‘Rome was not made all in one day’. It only appeared in English 300 years later. Here is a bit of trivia from ancient Roman history. The Romans were great road builders and some of their ancient roads exist till today, like the Appian Way, which was built nearly 2000 years ago.
However, sometimes it takes longer following the laid out road than to take a shortcut as the crow flies to get to where we are going.
As the crow flies is an idiom meaning taking a direct route from one point to another. This idiom was first published in 1767 in The London Review Of English And Foreign Liturature, by W. Kenrick
“The Spaniaad, if on foot, always travels as the crow flies………”
As we are already running late, the quickest way to get to school would be as the crow flies.
In my previous video, I explained the idiom to cry wolf which originated from the story about the the boy who cried wolf. But have you heard the idiom, a wolf in sheep’s clothing?This refers to a person who appears to be good but is actually bad. The idiom probably originated from Aesops Fables, from the story of the same name, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.Here’s a quick version of the story …
Once there was a wolf who thought that if he disguised himself in a sheepskin and hid among a herd of sheep, he could then easily hunt and eat all the sheep he wanted. Needless to say, the shepherd found him out and the wolf came to a bad end.
Emma’s best friend, John cheated her out of her savings and turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Now for our final idiom….All that glitters is not gold meaning that we should not be fooled by a person or thing’s shiny exterior as within might be the opposite of what’s visible on the outside.
This idiom was originally ‘all that glisters is not gold’ and has been in use since the 12th century but in 1596, Shakespeare used it in the ‘Merchant of Venice’ when the Prince of Morocco, in Portia’s house says,
‘O hell! what have we here?
A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll! I’ll read the writing.
All that glitters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll’d:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
But in our present day we could say To judge a person’s character, we must look beyond his outer appearance and look within as all that glitters is not gold.