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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hug it out

Noni: I can’t believe you were so mean to me in front of all those people. I felt humiliated.
Chad: Really? I wasn’t trying to be mean. Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel that way. Come here, let’s hug it out.
Noni: No way. That’s not how I solve things. I really need you to listen to what I have to say.
Chad: Not sure what to think. I’m not very confrontational, so it makes sense to me.

To “Hug it out” means to end an argument, or calm a situation, by giving each
other hugs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

To Cover [one’s] Tracks (used as a verb)

The expression, “to cover [one’s] tracks,” refers to the act of someone intentionally concealing or hiding his or her activities, whereabouts, or any evidence for the purpose of avoiding discovery.  Typically used in mystery stories, this idiom evokes the image of a nefarious criminal eliminating his “tracks” to avoid being caught by the police.

Situation 1:
“The killer attempted to cover his tracks of the murder he had committed by hiding the victim’s body in the forest.”

Situation 2:
“The cheating husband tried to cover his tracks by paying only in cash whenever he went out with his mistress.  Unfortunately for him, his wife was suspicious of his infidelity and had hired a private detective.”

*Note that in situation 2, the cheating husband attempted to conceal his affair by using only cash to cover his tracks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Snowflake (noun)

Situation #1: Two friends
Mia: George is such a jerk.                                             
Henry: What happened?
Mia: Well, he said something racist, so I called him on it, and I asked him not to say stuff like that, at least not around me. 

Henry: Did he apologize?
Mia: No. He said I was acting like "a special snowflake" and that I needed to grow a thicker skin. So I told him I'd rather be a sensitive snowflake than a racist jerk.
Henry: Wow.  

Explanation: When used as a putdown, "snowflake" means that a person is being too sensitive about a sensitive topic. Using "snowflake" as a putdown became popular after the movie FIGHT CLUB, where it is used to suggest that someone thinks they're special and is too sensitive. More recently, this usage has been embraced politically by conservative people when putting down liberal people who claim offense at potentially intolerant language.
Situation #2: Two friends
Chad:  Did you see that new comedy that just came out? I went with my girlfriend, and it was so gay.
Sam: Dude, don't call things "gay."
Chad: What? Why not?
Sam: Because it's homophobic.
Chad: What? I'm not homophobic! Don't be such a snowflake. You know what I meant.
Sam: I'm not being a snowflake. My brother is gay, and he's cool. If you think a movie is lame, call it "lame." Using "gay" in a negative way is just continuing negative stereotypes about gay people. And that's homophobic.
Chad: Ok. I get it. Sorry.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Take (something) in Stride

Take (something) in stride - To deal with something bad without much effort; to deal with (something difficult) in a calm way.

Two students are talking about the TOEFL class
Jay: Hi, Cheri! How did you do on yesterday's practice TOEFL test?
Cheri: Actually, I really messed up. I didn't even finish it, so I got a super low score.
Jay: Sorry to hear that. Don't you need to get a high score in just a few weeks?
Cheri: Yes, I do.
Jay: You don't seem very upset about your low score.
Cheri: No, I'm trying to take it in stride and just remain calm about it. If I freak out, it won't help me.
Jay: Taking it in stride is a good idea. If you want, I can help you study for the next TOEFL test. I got a high score yesterday, and I have the time.

Two friends are talking about another friend
Jack: Did you hear that Janet broke up with Bob and started dating his brother?
Jan: Really? Bob loves her so much. He must be so unhappy!
Jack: Actually, he is just taking it in stride. I saw him at the gym the other day, and he was playing basketball with his friends. He looked happy.
Jan: That's nice. I'm glad he is just moving on.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

To have a good head on ones shoulders

Context 1
Jim: I like the new quarterback on our high school football team this year.
Steve: Yeah, me too.  He is a very good player and he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders.

Context 2
Sara: I heard we hired a new secretary for the office.
Amy: Yes, her name is Suzie.  She is a very hard worker and she has a good head on her shoulders.

Meaning: This American idiom is used to describe someone who is acts maturely and has good, sound judgement.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Stab in the back - Meaning: To betray someone

Hey Laura,

I am writing you this e-mail to let you know how upset I am with what you did!
I thought you were my best friend... I told you I wanted to apply for the new position as head teacher at our school.
I told you I was going to apply, but you went ahead and did it before me! I heard you got the job.
That was a stab in the back!
Congratulations... You got a new job, but you lost a friend.

Good bye,


In this example, Ericka felt betrayed because Laura knew she was interested in the new position. She applied for the job, didn't say anything to Ericka, and she got the job!

Ericka felt like that was a stab in the back and ended their friendship. How sad...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Square Away

The expression, “square away,” is typically used to describe someone who is
performing at a high level of satisfaction or expectation, and continues to do so now or for an extended period of time (Sit 2). It can also be applied to things, places, or anything of high order or discipline. It also means to take care of your
responsibilities (Sit. 1).

Situation 1:
“Before leaving on vacation, Charlie made sure that his room, bills, and work were all squared away.”

Situation 2:
“Victor is always squared away when it comes to doing his job correctly and in a timely fashion.”

Situation 3:
“The Louvre Museum’s security is squared away. They have all sorts of alarms
and sensors that can monitor the art displays, in case someone wants to touch it or move it.”