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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A trip

Context #1

Tom: Remember our high school P.E. teacher Mrs. Stevens?
Chris: Yeah, of course.
Tom: Well I ran into her at the store yesterday. It's been like 20 years.
Chris: Wow! That must have been a trip!

Context #2

Sara: Did you see that new Matrix movie?
Jane: Yeah, but it was a little strange.
Sara: I know. That movie is a trip.

Meaning: "a trip" is a noun that is used as a kind of slang word to mean something that is strange, unbelievable, or really fascinating. The adjective is "trippy." It is used more by guys than girls. 

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

From time to time

Context #1

 Do you like watching action movies?  I think they’re the best.

 Sure, from time to time. 

 Like how often?

Leo: maybe once every three or four days.  Not too often.

Context #2

Bob: From time to time I remember when we first met. 

Shannon: That’s so sweet of you to say.  I didn’t think you thought about that at all.

Bob: Yes, occasionally I’ll have a memory that brings me back to the moment I ran into you while crossing the street with your friend.

Shannon: Well, from time to time I remember when you asked me out ten minutes later after we crossed the street.

Bob: I guess we both like thinking about the beginning of our relationship.

Meaning: Irregularly; now and then; occasionally; sometimes; not predictably.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Be second to none

Context #1

 Today was such a good soccer game. I didn’t think I would score so many goals.

Duh, everyone knows you’re second to none. You’re the best player in the league. 

 I didn’t really think about it that way. I’m glad people can see how hard I train.

Jay: Bro, you’re the best. Like I said, you’re second to none

Context #2

Dwayne: This restaurant is so delicious. It’s not even that expensive. 

Alexis: Yes! This place is second to none, even though it’s a small local joint.

Dwayne: I guess people never think small community restaurants like these can be world class.

Alexis: Well, most restaurants start somewhere right? 

Dwayne: Yeah. And your knowledge of finding good restaurants like these is definitely second to none.

Meaning: Second to none means literally: there is no one to whom this person would be second. Example: It is the best. It can be applied to objects, too.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

For a living

Context #1

Peter: Did you see the new blue house at the corner?

Ana: Yes, I loved the colors. Who painted that?

Peter: It was John's art! He paints houses for a living.

Ana: Oh, nice to hear that! I wish I had such talent! 

Context #2

Brianna: Can I ask you something, Mel? 

Melanie: Of course you can! 

Brianna: That's fine! What do you do for a living?

Melanie: I work at the market on Fridays, Bri! I told you! 

Brianna: Oh, my God! I thought you were a veterinarian!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

By hand

Context #1

Mark: Hi Dave, how are you? Oh, why do you look so worried?

Dave: Yeah, I'm a little worried about pollution.

Mark: I know, Earth is suffering. Pollution is terrible! That's why I always have my bag made by hand with me. They are super cute and sustainable. 

Dave: You made my day! I'm going to buy it now!

Meaning: Made by human hands and handheld tools as opposed to a machine. 

Context #2

Michael: Hello, Ana! Would you like me to help you with the deliveries?

Ana: No, Michael! I'm sorry but my boss told me to deliver the message by hand.

Michael: That's fine! I just wanted to help!

Meaning: Something that is delivered "by hand" is delivered by a person and given directly to the person it is addressed to.

Friday, May 5, 2017

To pig out

Context #1
Matt and Pete are about to leave for a party.

Matt: Are you ready for the party?
Pete: Oh yeah! I’m starving!
Matt: What? Really?
Pete: Yes! I haven’t eaten all day. I’ve been waiting for the party so I can pig out!
Matt: Ah, Pete: I don’t know if they will have food. I hope you know that this party we’re going to is a political party.

Context #2
Melinda sits in front of many empty plates and used napkins. Janet approaches her.

Janet: How was dinner, Melinda?
Melinda: Delicious! Too delicious! Look at how much I ate. I can’t eat another bite.
Janet: Too bad you pigged out on dinner because this restaurant has the best desert in the world!
Meaning: To eat a lot, to eat more than expected. We think of a pig as an animal that never stops eating. When we use “pig out” with a person, we basically say that person “eats as much as a pig.” “To make a pig of” oneself is another

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Crocodile tears

Meaning: A display of an emotion that is not real; or showing an emotion but not feeling that emotion. If a person is not sad but wants to look sad, he or she will shed crocodile tears, meaning that person is acting sad rather than feeling sad. People often use the verbs “cry,” “shed,” or “weep” before the idiom crocodile tears.

Example 1: Shasta worked at an awards show the night before her conversation with Jean.

Jean: Did you watch the Tuney Awards last night?
Shasta: Oh, I didn’t tell you? I worked backstage at the Tuney’s!
Jean: What?! No, you didn’t tell me! Did you meet Darlene Lafleur?
Shasta: Yeah, I met her.
Jean: What a lovely person! I thought her speech after winning best song and best new artist was so…heart-felt! And she was so surprised that she won. What a humble woman! I’m glad she brought tissues to the stage for her tears.
Shasta: Um, she brought tissues to the stage because she had prepared to cry. Those were crocodile tears. Just before she appeared on stage I heard her say, “Everyone out there knows I’m going to win. Those other artists are terrible. I can’t believe they even showed up.”


Police have arrested and charged John Dalia with the murder of his co-worker Kevin McDonald. Police claim that Dalia waited for McDonald outside his home and attacked him as he was leaving for work. Dalia wiped tears from his eyes as he spoke to the press this afternoon: “I did not kill Kevin. He was my friend. I loved that man and would never hurt him.” Dalia’s co-workers, however, claim he was crying crocodile tears: “John never had a nice thing to say about Kevin; but John’s wife did!” 

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