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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Camp Out

Idiom: Camp out

First Example:
Lenny: What are you and your family doing this weekend?
Nancy: We’re going to Pismo beach.  We’re still considering if we will camp out on the beach or not.
Lenny:  I’m not big on camping out in the wild.  I only camp out in my backyard.  It’s not extravagant, but it’s safe for me.

Second Example:
Mitt: The protesters have been sitting in front of City Hall for some time now.
Sean: Yeah, they decided to camp out to show the mayor how angry they are about the new policies.

To "camp out" means to sleep/live outdoors for a short or extended period of time, usually in a tent.  To camp out includes giving up general utilities like shower, toilet, and going without many possessions.  In the first example, Nancy is debating whether she and her family will stay in a tent on the beach, but Lenny contends that he doesn’t like the outdoors.  Lenny’s approach to “camping out” is confined to the safety of his back yard.  In the second example, the protesters intended on staying in front of City Hall for an extended period of time to prove their tenacity.  Therefore, they camped out in front of the building showing their willingness to give up comforts to show their commitment.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy Camper

Idiom: Happy Camper; used as a noun

First Example:
Pete: Hey Chip, what’s going on?  You seem to be incredibly unhappy.
Chip: Every time I almost get my work done, someone interrupts me. I’m not a happy camper.
Pete: No kidding, you’ve been quite irritated for the last couple of days.  I guess that project was tough huh?

Second Example:
Jean: You’re certainly a happy camper after your trip to Europe.
Matt: I had a chance to visit so many sites and try so many good things to eat.  What’s not to be happy about?

To be a "happy camper" means to be satisfied, cheerful or pleased with something, someone, or the result of something.  In the first example, Pete noticed Chip’s demeanor and noticed how unhappy he was with something.  Chip explains that he keeps getting interrupted. This idiom is commonly used with a negative to mean unhappy.
In the second example, Matt expresses his positive experience in Europe and why he was so happy.  He was a satisfied customer, or a Happy Camper.

To let someone down

Idiom: To let someone down; used as a verb

First Example:
Jeffrey was sure he could make the goal, so he asked Thomas to kick him the ball. But he missed the goal and his team lost. He really let them down

Second Example:
Jenna promised her mom that they would have breakfast together on Mother's Day, but she forgot to set her alarm.  When she woke up at 11am, she called her mom, but she had already had gone out for brunch with a friend. Jenna said she was sorry that she let her mom down and promised to make up for it next week.

Meaning: To "let someone down" means to fail or disappoint that person or group. Usually, this expression is used when the person/group being let down was relying on the person to be successful, and the failure was that person's fault. In the first example/illustration above, Jeffrey missed  after he said he was sure that he could make the goal; if he hadn't said he could make it, he wouldn't have let them down. In the second example, Jenna let her mom down after sleeping through the Mother's Day breakfast she promised.