Category Archives: Idioms

Idiom of the Week: Fly-by-Night

Meaning: Untrustworthy or undependable; usually used to describe businesses or salespeople.

Examples:

There are many fly-by-night providers of goods on the internet, so buying products online only from reputable websites is probably a good idea.

A fly-by-night salesman at the market yesterday sold me a flawed product that doesn’t even work.​

My uncle lost his savings by getting involved with a fly-by-night investment company.

 

Pop Quiz:

What should you do if someone calls a company fly-by-night?

A.  Avoid this company.

B.  Try to do business with this company.

C.  Apply for a job with this company.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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My Hands Are Tied Revisited

Here’s a classic country song for you using our latest Idiom of the Week.

“My Hands Are Tied”
Merle Haggard

She came here to see me today

In prison where I have to stay

But this time she came here

To tell me goodbye

 

Pretending that I understood

I held back the tears best I could

But I know that she knew

I wanted to cry

 

Because my hands are tied

I’m locked here inside

I want her, I need her, I love her

But my hands are tied

 

Her visits kept my world alive

Our love found a way to survive

But now it’s all over

I’ve lost her for good

 

She waited with arms open wide

Till somebody else stepped inside

But I know she waited

As long as she could

 

Because my hands are tied

I’m locked here inside

I want her, I need her, I love her

But my hands are tied

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Idiom of the Week: My Hands Are Tied

Meaning: To be powerless; to not be able to do something.

Examples:

The customer wanted a refund but I told him that my hands were tied: he could only get store credit.

“The flight is delayed three hours? But I need to be in New York by 9 pm!” “I’m sorry, sir. Our hands are tied.”

Your mom already said you can’t have any more candy, so my hands are tied. Sorry, son.

 

Pop Quiz:

If someone tells you that their hands are tied, they mean…

A.  They can maybe do something.

B.  They can definitely help you.

C.  They can do nothing to change the situation.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Idiom of the Week: Go Over Someone’s Head

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Meaning: To not understand something.

Examples:

The teacher explained how to use past perfect tense but it went over all the students’ heads.

My supervisor’s instructions went completely over my head, so I had to ask a co-worker for help.

“I would tell you but I’m afraid it would go over your head,” said the scientist.

 

Pop Quiz:

What’s the best reply to someone who says to you, “That went right over my head“?

A.  “Let me try to explain it in a different way.”

B.  “I’m happy to hear that.”

C. “You’re so stupid!”

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Give Someone a Hand, Again

Here are some images and quotations for you which use our latest Idiom of the Week:

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Give Someone a Hand

Meaning: 1. To help someone, usually with something physically; also expressed as to “lend someone a hand” 2. To clap or applaud for someone

Examples:

Can you give me a hand with this? It’s too heavy for me to lift by myself.

After his speech the crowd gave him a big hand.

Let’s give our volunteers a hand for giving us a hand!

 

Pop Quiz:

If someone gives you a hand, what should you say?

A.  Thank you.

B.  You’re welcome.

C.  Could you repeat that?

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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