Posted by: episystechpubs | June 1, 2015

Editor’s Corner: More Idioms!

Good morning!

A couple of weeks ago I shared a list of common English idioms with you, and in return, I asked you to share your favorite idioms, English or otherwise, with me. Thanks to everyone who submitted—and thanks for providing the translations for the non-English idioms. (I did not investigate these translations to make sure the submitters got them right. If you can’t trust an Editor’s Corner reader, who the heck can you trust?) Here are all the idioms I received that are fit to print. J

Idiom in English Translation Language of Origin Explanation
Costs an eye of the face Cuesta un ojo de la cara Spanish Very expensive
Even monkeys may fall from trees 원숭이도 나무에서 떨어진다 Korean Even experts make mistakes
Finer than a frog hair split four ways English/USA, southern states Outstanding!
I should cocoa English/UK I should think so (often sarcastic)
Knee-high to a grasshopper English/USA, southern states Most often used to refer to size or growth: “You were just knee-high to a grasshopper.”
Long in the tooth English Old; used up; past its prime
Madder than a wet hen English/USA, southern states Very angry
Nip in the bud English Prevent a small problem from getting worse
Oh, my giddy aunt! English/UK An exclamation of surprise
Pull your socks up English/UK Improve your behavior or work; get on with it
Push the envelope English To expand the definition, categorization, dimensions, or perimeters of something
Rat road Jalan tikus Indonesian Short cut
Take the mickey English/UK Tease
With bells on English Dressed up; ready to go; eager
Worth its weight in gold English Highly valued; extremely useful
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear English/USA, southern states You can dress it up, but you can’t improve the quality (often used to describe a person)
You can’t taste your own spit De gustibus non est disputandum Latin In matters of taste, there can be no dispute

Donna Bradley Burcher | Technical Editor, Senior | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Symitar Technical Publications Writing and Editing Requests


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