Posted by: Jack Henry | February 23, 2023

Editor’s Corner: English Idioms from Around the World, Part 2

Hello, and happy Thursday! As promised, today I’m serving up the second half of English idioms from around the world. If you have a favorite idiom, send it my way. I’ll compile a list to share with everyone.

I hope you enjoy these lively expressions and the rest of your day!

· My teacher is sitting on my head (my teacher is putting pressure on me). INDIA. In super-multilingual India, it’s not unusual for people to translate idioms from one language to another. This one comes from Hindi. My teacher’s really sitting on my head. He’s given us three essays to write by Monday.

· What’s for ye’ll no go past ye (what will be will be, qué será será) SCOTLAND. Don’t be fretting now, love. What’s for ye’ll no go past ye.

· Go for/out for a rip (go out for a drive somewhere and have a great time, usually with beer involved) CANADA. A: Hey buddy, wanna go for a rip? Just got the keys to my new truck. B: Hell, yeah!

· Out of whack (misaligned, wonky, broken, askew). US. Looks like you put those shelves up in a hurry! They’re a bit out of whack. In the UK, skew-whiff has a similar meaning.

· Lekker (cool, tasty, sexually attractive). SOUTH AFRICA. This word comes from Dutch via Afrikaans. A: Did you see that guy at the bar? B: I know, man – so lekker!

· Get off the grass (an expression of surprise or disbelief). NEW ZEALAND. A: Guess what! Jill and I are getting married. B: Get off the grass! I bet she thought you’d never ask her!

· Y’daft apeth (you idiot, you fool). MANCHESTER Don’t just stand there, y’daft apeth! Help me! Daft is a synonym of stupid and apeth comes from ha’p’orth, an abbreviation of halfpennyworth, i.e., an insignificant amount.

· Go to see a man about a dog (go to the toilet). UK. A: Are you leaving already? We’ve just ordered dessert. B: No, I’ll be right back. Just going to see a man about a dog. A good example of British reticence when it comes to talking directly about anything vaguely awkward.

· What’s occurrin’? (How are you?) WALES. This is a typical way to greet someone in the country, a little like What’s up?

· Bob’s your uncle (that’s all there is to it/that’s all it takes) VARIOUS. It’s really easy to use. Just plug it in, push this button, and Bob’s your uncle!

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | jack henry™

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123

Pronouns she/her/hers

Symitar Documentation Services

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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