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Live, learn, enjoy!

martes, 5 de mayo de 2015

Idiom of the week: Lost for words

Have you ever been lost for words? Oh yes. And who hasn't?

This is the first idiom I learnt at university in my English class. It appeared in a text about how children acquire their mother tongue, and for some reason, it's one of those idioms I've never forgotten. 

Being lost for words means that you're so shocked, surprised or upset that you don't know what to say. It can have both positive and negative connotations, and the equivalent in Spanish would be quedarse sin palabras or sin habla.

So, as I was saying, this idiom has managed to stay in my mind somehow. I wonder if there's a connection with the fact that, in spite of my age, sometimes life and people still make me lost for words every now and then.

viernes, 24 de abril de 2015

Idiom of the week: It ain't over until the fat lady sings

Imagine you're watching a football game. Your team are losing, the situation doesn't seem to get any better, and a friend of yours keeps pestering you on how terribly they're playing. However, you still trust things can change before the end of the match. That's when you tell your dear friend, 'Hey, shut up! It ain't over until the fat lady sings!'

And you're right! We shouldn't anticipate the outcome of a situation before it has finished for good. Things may turn around unexpectedly in the last second.

I think this is a fun idiom, but it needs explaining. Why the fat lady? Why the singing? According to many sources, there exists a stereotype for opera sopranos which depicts most of them (if not all) as being irreverently overweight. Some of these sopranos perform their solo by the end of the show, and some even sing the very last line of the whole opera.

So, both literally and figuratively, the show's definitely not over until the fat lady sings.

viernes, 17 de abril de 2015

Idiom of the week: On pins and needles

"Pins and needles" is a tingling, itching sensation that happens when the blood supply to a given area of the body (usually a limb) is cut off temporarily. We've all had it at some point in our life. The medical name for pins and needles is "paraesthesia", but it's commonly known as a limb "falling asleep".

Furthermore, on pins and needles may refer to a state of anxiety or nervousness, as in 'I've been on pins and needles all day, waiting for you to call.' In Spanish, we've got the equivalent expression 'estar en ascuas' -and if this isn't idiomatic, I don't know what is! 

martes, 24 de marzo de 2015

Idiom of the week: In the blink of an eye

Ah, high time for an easy one!

"In the blink of an eye" refers to a very short period of time, an instant. There is an alike expression in Spanish -"en un abrir y cerrar de ojos". Funny how it takes longer to say the idiom than what it actually implies, isn't it?

This week's idiom has been introduced in the blink of an eye. Phew, task accomplished!