Idiom: "to hit bottom” or “to hit rock bottom”
Meaning: to reach the lowest or worst point; to reach the lowest possible level or be in the worst possible situation
Jerry: This has been such a bad year for my company.
Steve: Really? I thought you had a successful business.
Jerry: Well, because we had to close for a month after damage from the earthquake, our profits hit bottom in May. I guess things can only get better now.
Steve: You’re right. Profits can only go up after you have hit bottom.
Jerry: Let’s hope so!
Selena: Wow, I had a long talk with Jill last night and she has really had a difficult life.
Jackie: Really? She seems so successful and happy with her life.
Selena: She is now, but she was an alcoholic for ten years. Every time she tried to quit, she would start drinking again. Then, she hit rock bottom. She was homeless and sick. She finally made the change and now she hasn’t had a drink in over five years.
Jackie: It is sad that she had to go through all those bad things, but sometimes a person has to hit rock bottom before they can really make a change for the better.
Selena: Yes, I guess you’re right.
Meaning: "To hit bottom” and “to hit rock bottom” mean to reach the lowest or worst point or to reach the lowest possible level or be in the worst possible situation in one’s life. In the first example, Jerry’s company “hit bottom” because of damage from an earthquake that caused him to lose money. In the second example, the two people are talking about a woman who was an alcoholic for many years and couldn’t make a change until her life was ruined completely, or until she “hit rock bottom.” This idiom can be found in the 2nd edition of Reading Horizons. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit: www.languagesystems.com.