Friday idiom: cut me some slack

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Nobody’s perfect, and sometimes you just have to cut people some slack!

Use this idiom within a sentence to say that you should let up sometimes and not be overly critical of what someone does. Sometimes we just need time to learn, or time full stop. Sometimes we just have to accept that mistakes happen, and that they’re not the end of the world.

You can also cut yourself some slack by not always striving for perfection: « good » is good too!

So, all of you English learners, if you’re struggling with the language sometimes and you feel frustrated, cut yourselves some slack! Learning a language is a life long endeavor and certainly won’t happen overnight.

Friday Idiom

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This expression is used within a sentence, for example:

  • So when I called, she said she hadn’t yet finished the work, and to add insult to injury, she also said she wasn’t planning on getting it done this week!

So you really want to use this one when telling a story where you want to emphasize that not only one bad thing happened, but another thing come along to top it off.

Got any questions? Let me know!

Friday Idiom: under the weather

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« I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I don’t think I’ll make it to your party. »

« Josh can’t come to school today because he’s a little under the weather, I’d like him to rest. »

If you’re feeling « under the weather » it means that you’re not at your best. Use it within a sentence when you’d like to tell someone that you’re not feeling well. It generally means you have a cold, and isn’t used for more serious illnesses.

Friday Idiom: cut corners

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Cutting corners is often tempting, but also often leads to disasters. Whenever you try to save time by either not putting in a full effort, or by omitting some seemingly unimportant details, it will come back and bite you!

A few examples of cutting corners:

  • Not taking the time to properly proofread a document.
  • When you don’t document your work well.
  • Ignoring the basics when you learn a new skill.

So, don’t cut corners!

Friday Idiom: it’s not rocket science

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I find myself saying this a little too often I think! Usually to my son, when he’s doing something super simple and making out as if it’s the hardest thing in the world. Or, when I see someone say or do something dumb on TV.

So really, you can say this whenever you feel that something really isn’t that hard. For example, when my mom can’t figure out how to switch to a video call on what’s app, I might say to her: oh come on, it’s not rocket science!

Be careful though not to vex anyone!

Friday Idiom: speak of the devil

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I think this idiom probably has some variation in at least a few languages. I know you can say the same thing in French… Do you know any languages where this idiom would work?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it tends to be used as a stand alone phrase. For example, you’re talking about your friend Betsy and in she comes, you might say: Ah, speak of the devil!

It’s usually preceeded by some kind of expression of surprise, like: ah; oh; oh hey, etc.

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Friday Idiom: call it a day

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This idiom is used within a sentence. For example, you can be in a meeting, and when you’ve had enough, or you would like to bring the meeting to an end, you could say: let’s call it a day.

It’s a useful little idiom because it’s equally employed within professional and non-professional settings.

Here are some examples of situations where you might hear it:

  • You’re working on a school project and you want to finish up for the day.
  • You’re at work and it’s getting late.
  • You’re in a meeting and you’d like to move onto something else.

Got questions? Drop me a line!

Friday Idiom: fit as a fiddle

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Anyone musical out there? Today’s expression is: fit as a fiddle!

So why? Where does it come from?

The word « fit » refers to being in good condition, that is, the fiddle (violin) must be suitable, or fit for purpose. 1 The phrase did not always look exactly like this, in the past, a person could also say: as fine as a fiddle, for example. Indeed, Thomas Dekker (The Batchelars Banquet, 1603) and W. Haughton’s (English-men for my Money, 1616) qualified a lady as fine as a fiddle and fit as a fiddle in their respective works.2

So, to be as fit as a fiddle now means simply to be in good physical shape!

Here are some examples:

  • My dad is getting on in years (getting old) but he’s still fit as a fiddle.
  • Wow, is she going to run the Boston marathon? Oh yeah, she’s fit as a fiddle!
  • When I finish this exercise regimen, I’ll be fit as a fiddle!

Got any questions? Let me know in the comments!

Bibliography

1,2https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/as-fit-as-a-fiddle.html; Accessed 16/04/2021.

https://www.theidioms.com/fit-as-a-fiddle/; Accessed 16/04/2021.

https://wordhistories.net/2016/07/10/fit-as-a-fiddle/; Accessed 16/04/2021.

Friday Idiom

English Expressions: don't judge a book by its cover. Apprenez des expressions anglaises chaque vendredi avec Groupetude!

Now for this expression, I have to say that in reality, I often judge a book by its cover! However, I try not to judge people by their appearance, and that’s the whole point, right?

In terms of books though, I love a good cover! A great book jacket, that grabs your attention can really make you pick up a book. On that note, I watched a TED talk by a book designer on the very subject. I’ll include a link below.

It’s hard though, isn’t it, to put your prejudice to the side and not make assumptions about people and places? It’s hardwired in us.