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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Deck the Halls

Idiom: Deck the Halls

Example 1:
Jennifer: (singing) Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
Olaf: What? I don’t understand a word you are singing!
Jennifer: It’s an old Christmas carol, or song, Deck the Halls!
 Olaf: What does it mean?
Jennifer: Well, “deck the halls” means to decorate for Christmas. A bough is a branch, so they are hanging up branches of holly.
Olaf: Ummm, what is holly?
Jennifer: Oh, it’s a type of flowering plant, usually with green leaves and small red round berries.
Olaf: I see those everywhere at Christmas time. Teach me the song!

Example #2 – Two roommates are talking at home
Jack: This neighborhood is gorgeous. Look at all the Christmas lights.
Terri: I know! Every single house is decorated with something unique. It’s a beautiful sight.
Jack: Hey, I heard that Carlos is moving to this neighborhood with his new wife next year.
Terri: Well, they had better be prepared to deck the halls and a whole lot more at Christmas time!

Meaning: “Deck the halls” comes from an old Christmas carol, or song, and it simply means to put up decorations at Christmas time.  @SBLA @OC @NELA @DTLA

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tis the Season

Idiom: Tis the Season

Example 1: A mom and her small son are talking about the holidays.
Jeff: Wow! Look at all these presents under the tree!
Mom: Well, tis the season!
Jeff: But it’s still early, a week before Christmas. I thought Santa Claus brought all the presents while we are sleeping on Christmas eve?
Mom: Ummm...Santa.......ahhhh....came early this year. Surprise!
Jeff: Really?
Mom: Yes, really. Because you were such a good boy!

Example 2: Two roommates are talking at home.
Jack: OK. I have my ugly sweater, antlers, exchange gift, and egg nog. I’m ready for the Christmas party!
Terri: Ha! You really look like you’re ready! I like the antlers!
Jack: Tis the party!!!!

Meaning: “Tis the season typically refers to the time before Christmas, which can be defined as anywhere from October to December 24th. @SBLA @OC @NELA @DTLA


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Be my guest

Idiom: be my guest

Example 1:
Matt: Hey man, I’m going to San Diego next year.
Dee:  Oh really? Can I come too?
Matt: Be my guest.
Dee: Really? That’s awesome.

Example 2:
Thomas: Do you think I can turn in those reports on Monday of next week?
Charles: Be my guest.  They’re not due until Tuesday anyway. 

Meaning: "Be my guest" means: “go ahead,” “help yourself,” or it could mean giving someone permission to do something.  It’s a neutral term used by many people in formal or informal settings.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

To Drop a Hint

Idiom: (to) drop a hint

Example 1:
Rudolph: Hey Dasher, what kind of gift are you getting for your girlfriend this holiday season?
Dasher:  Wait.  You’ll find out after the holiday season.
Rudolph: Oh, come on, drop me a hint!  It’s not my gift.
Dasher: No way!  It’s a big surprise.

Example 2:
Manny: Hey, how much money are you asking for this event?
Floyd: More money than you can imagine.
Manny: Really? At least drop a hint.  Everyone wants to know.
Floyd: I don’t really want to talk about that. 

Meaning: "To drop a hint" is another way of expressing “give me a hint” or another way of asking for more details.  It’s often used amongst friends and close colleagues.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

To Ring Up

Idiom: To Ring Up

Example 1:
Store clerk to the man waiting in line to pay: "Hello, sir. Are you ready? I can ring you up at this register."

Example 2:
Shopper who realizes there is mistake on her receipt: "I have to go back to the store. The cashier rang up 2 cartons of eggs but I only have 1. I was overcharged for something I didn't buy!"

Meaning: "To Ring Up" is a separable phrasal verb that is used to describe the action of the cashier in a store. 
"The cashier will ring up your items."
"Can you ring me up?"
Remember! When using object pronouns (you, me, us, it, etc) the pronoun must separate the phrasal verb. Ex: Ring me up   NOT: Ring up me. Longer nouns that are not pronouns generally don't separate the phrasal verb. Ex: Ring up all the items in my shopping cart. NOT: Ring all the items in my shopping cart up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Retail Therapy

Idiom: Retail Therapy

Example 1:
Cora: Frances just broke up with her boyfriend. We need to plan something to help cheer her up. Do you have any ideas?
Julie: I have the perfect idea! She loves shopping, so I think some retail therapy will definitely help her feel better!
Cora: Great idea! Let's pick her up and go to the mall.

Example 2:
With the stress of the holidays and the cold winter weather, it's easy for people to begin to feel depressed. That's why shopping is so popular this time of year! We love to buy gifts for our loved ones, but a little retail therapy really helps some people feel better! 

Meaning: "Retail therapy" is an expression that's used to describe shopping as a treatment for sadness.  @SBLA @OC @NELA @DTLA

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

To Dig In

Idiom: To dig in

Context #1:
Tony: Hey guys!  The pizza is ready, so dig in!
Joe: Should we wait for John?
Tony: No, he called and said he's not coming.

Context #2:
Bethany: I know your food hasn't come yet, but I am so hungry. Can I go ahead and start eating?
Chrissy: Yeah, don't worry about. Dig in!

Meaning: "To dig in" is a phrased that is used to tell someone to go ahead and start eating. Usually it is used in a situation where someone is politely waiting to eat. This idiom means, "You don't have to wait. Go ahead and start eating."

Eat responsively!

To Be Stuffed

Idiom: To be stuffed

Context #1:
John: Man, that buffet was amazing!  I think I had like 5 plates full of food.
Steve: Me too. I am stuffed!

Context #2:
Susie: I don't think I can finish this hamburger.  It's huge!
Jill: Yeah, I actually finished one before. I was so stuffed!

Meaning: "To be stuffed" is a very common idiom in American English. It means "to be really full," and it usually means that you are so full you feel uncomfortable. When people say they are "stuffed" it usually means that they ate too much.

Eat responsively!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Blessing In Disguise

Idiom: A blessing in disguise

Meaning: Something that at first appears to be bad or unlucky but is actually good.

Mike: I heard you lost your job. Is that true?
Sam: Yeah, it is! But losing my job was a blessing in disguise.
Mike: How so?
Sam: I never would have found my current job if it hadn't happened, I'm making way more money now. @SBLA @OC @NELA @DTLA

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Food Coma

Read this thank you note and try to guess the meaning of the idiom in bold:
What do you think the idiom food coma means?

A. The state of foods, especially vegetables, that are nearly dead before being completely cooked or ingested.

B. Feeling very tired and sleepy shortly after eating a big meal.

C. A punctuation mark in the shape of food indicating a pause between parts of a sentence.

The answer is.... 

B.  Feeling very tired and sleepy shortly after eating a big meal.

  Eat responsively! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To Squirrel Something Away

Idiom: To squirrel something away; used as a verb 

First Example:
Kyle: I bought a car!
Elizabeth: Really?  How much are your monthly payments?           
Kyle: I don't have any.
Elizabeth: What?! How?                   
Kyle: I've been squirreling away a little money from each paycheck for years, and it saved up over time!  When my last car started having problems, I checked my savings and realized I had enough to buy a used car.
Elizabeth: Great! Then you can drive to lunch!        

Meaning: The idiom "to squirrel something away" is used to describe the act of saving or hoarding for a future, similar to how squirrels save nuts for the coming winter. The most common use of the expression is used to describe saving money over a period of time, as in the example above, when Kyle explains that he has been squirreling away money for years. This means he has been saving small amounts of money over the years, intending to use it at a later time. While the idiom is primarily used for money, it can be used in other ways, as in this example:

Carlos: It's November. I guess it's time to start thinking about Christmas shopping.          
Ronda: Oh, I'm already done.
Chris: No way.
Ronda: Yep.  I start shopping for Christmas the day after. I keep an eye out for potential gifts at great prices year round. There are so many great sales early in the year. Then I squirrel them away until December so that I don't have to rush when the holidays approach and everyone else is going nuts.
Chris: Wow. So you're saying the gift you give me this year was probably bought in January?
Ronda: Who said you're getting a gift?  I'm just kidding. But I think I bought your gift in March. 

Meaning: In this example, Ronda explains that she squirrels away Christmas gifts that she buys on sale throughout the year. @SBLA @OC @NELA @DTLA

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

To Serve Your Country

Idiom: To serve a/your country; used as a verb 

First Example:
Announcer: For Veteran's Day, the president honored the men and women who have served our country.  He thanked the military members for their service in a speech given at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Meaning: The idiom "to serve a country" is used to describe someone who is enrolled in the military.  The expression is used to emphasize the sacrifice that being a member of a military can take on those who have served. In the example above, the president is honoring military members who have served their country on Veteran's Day, a special day to commemorate those who have done military service.  Normally, most individuals "serve" their own country, so this idiom is often used with a possessive adjective, as in the example ("our" instead of "a"). Here is another example:

Chris: I heard you're joining the navy after you graduate?  
Tammy: Yep.  I start next month.
Chris: Really?  Are you doing it to help pay for college?
Tammy: Not really. I mean, that's certainly a benefit, but it's not my primary reason. Ever since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to give back, and serving my country seems like the best way to that.
Chris: That's cool. 

Meaning: In this example, Tammy is joining the Navy.  When Chris asks if she is doing it to help pay for college (there are programs that pay for US veterans' higher education), she says the she has wanted to give back to her community since she was a little girl, emphasizing that her service is primarily altruistic (doing something for others) rather than self-serving (receiving benefits in this case). @SBLA @OC @NELA @DTLA