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Thursday, March 9, 2017

To draw a blank

Context #1: Faz and Tyler are eating at a restaurant.

Tyler: Faz, you are the most forgetful person I know.
Faz: No way! My memory is just fine.
Tyler: Oh, really? How long have we known each other?
Faz: Um… More than ten years!
Tyler: Okay, so what is my name?
Faz: It’s…ah… Give me a hint; I’m drawing a blank.

Context #2: Wilma has not been following Mr. Scott’s lecture in class.

Mr. Scott: Wilma, what’s the answer to question 7 (in the book).
Wilma: I’m not sure, Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott: We just talked about this, Wilma. Why don’t you know? Were you doodling* in your notebook again?
Wilma: No, sir. My notebook is clean. All I have been doing is drawing blanks.

Meaning: to forget, to not know, or to not have information.  A blank is a space without information. We use this idiom to tell our listener that our brain cannot create a picture or cannot give the correct information.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

To be in hot water

Context #1: James is met at home by his angry mother

Mother: You are in hot water, young man!
James: Why? What did I do?
Mother: You took the car without asking. Now you come home – and it’s 2:00 am! You didn’t call or tell me where you were!
James: But, Mom, I couldn’t tell you; I went to a SURPRISE party!
Mother: Well, surprise! You’re grounded!

Context #2: Doreen and Tom are in school talking about their classmate, Gina

Doreen: Can you believe Gina? She’s not here again.
Tom: Do you think the teacher notices?
Doreen: Oh yeah! Mrs. Lynch told Gina that she’d be in hot water if she missed another class.

Meaning: to be in trouble. “Hot water” is a bad situation. We have many idioms that connect “hot” things with difficult situations: “out of the frying pan and into the fire” and “feel the heat” are two others.

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