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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

To sweat buckets & to sweat like a pig


Idiom: to sweat buckets & to sweat like a pig; used as verbs


Example:

Harry: Wow, it's hot out!
Jen: I know! I had to move some furniture, and by the end, I was sweating buckets!       
Harry: Do you need help?
Jen:  No.  We got everything moved.  But the next time I decide to rearrange my living room, I'm waiting until the winter.


Meaning: When an American says that someone is "sweating buckets," it means that the person is sweating excessively, either from physical movement or nervousness. The idiom suggests a person sweating so much that s/he is filling up buckets. In the example above, Jen uses the idiom to emphasize how much she was sweating after moving furniture - not that she actually collected her sweat in buckets.  Alternatively, there is another idiom with the same meaning, as seen below:

Jen: Wow, it's hot out!
Harry: Yeah it is! I went hiking yesterday, and I was sweating like a pig!
Jen: Was it a nice hike?
Harry:  Not really.  It was so hot, I didn't really enjoy myself.


Meaning: In this case, Harry uses the idiom "sweat like a pig" to tell Jen that he was also sweating excessively.  Ironically, pigs don't really sweat much, and they roll around in mud in order to stay cool, so this idiom doesn't make a lot of sense.

This week, we are covering American idioms related to heat due to the high temperatures in Los Angeles this week. 

For more information, please visit: www.languagesystems.edu

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