To help all English learners: 20 English Idioms in fun illustrationsPictolic
American Tara Lesher (Tara Lesher) — a professional children's photographer, and in 2009 she received a diploma as a primary school teacher. Tara decided to combine her love of teaching with her love of photography and created a series of illustrations for common English phraseological units.
Usually these expressions confuse children who take everything literally, and foreigners who are trying to master the English language. Below you will find 20 funny illustrations for popular English idioms and funny stories that hide some of them.
Cat Got Your Tongue
One theory of the origin of this idiom says that its appearance is associated with the nine-tailed whip, which was called "cat" and was used in one philosophical school to punish bad students. The one who was about to be punished could not utter a word out of fear. The second, more eerie theory is related to an ancient eastern custom, according to which liars ' tongues were cut off and fed to cats.
Raining Cats And Dogs
There are many hypotheses about the origin of this idiom. The most colorful of them is this: in the Middle Ages, the roofs of houses in England were usually covered with a thick layer of straw and were a particularly attractive place for cats, dogs and other small animals (apparently, because this material kept the heat better). During heavy rains, animals sometimes slipped and fell down, and the British began to associate heavy rain with falling cats and dogs, hence the expression it's raining cats and dogs.
The idiom appeared in everyday English with the light hand of the American writer Jack Mingo, who published in 1979 a collection of humorous essays "The Official Couch Potato Handbook" — "The official guide to idleness".
Waiting In The Wings
In this case, the origin of the idiom is connected with the theater: the "wing" is the part of the stage that is closed by the backstage, and it is there that the actors are impatiently waiting for their next scene.
Heard It Through The Grapevine
This idiom came about thanks to the invention of the telegraph and the harvesters. Here is its history: the first public demonstration of the work of the telegraph was conducted in 1844 by Samuel Morse, and the device received universal approval as an effective way of transmitting information. However, it soon became clear that even the most seemingly recent news transmitted by telegraph was already known to some communities, most often to the harvesters. Thus, banal rumors were sometimes more effective than a revolutionary device.
Wish Upon A Star
In ancient times, the Romans worshipped Venus, the goddess of love. It is this planet that first appears in the sky most of the year, and many made their cherished wishes, praying to Venus for their fulfillment.
There is a belief that the crocodile cries from "pity", eating its victim. It did not appear out of nowhere: during the eating of food, a liquid that looks like tears actually flows out of the crocodile's eyes.
In Hot Water
Cost An Arm And A Leg
In the United States, the first use of this phraseology is recorded after World War II, in 1949, in the newspaper The Long Beach Independent. It is generally believed that the idiom was brought to life by military realities, when there were many reports of military personnel who lost limbs in the war and thus paid a very high price for winning the war.
Straight From The Horse’s Mouth
Urban Dictionary explains that this expression is associated with a story about horse racing: the horse knows best whether it is going to come first to the finish line, which means that you need to consult about betting not with a jockey or trainer, but directly look into the horse's mouth.
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep
This is an old English proverb, the first written mention of which dates back to 1613.
Shirt Off Your Back
Saved By The Bell
There are several versions about the origin of this expression. The main one, of course, is related to sports, namely boxing, when a nearly losing boxer is saved by a bell that notifies about the end of the round.
Grave graves used to have a bell placed on them, and if a person was buried alive, they would spin around in the coffin, and the vibration would be transmitted to the bell on the grave. There was a special night watchman, his shift was called graveyard shift (this name still exists, this is the name of the night shift until 8 am). His duties included making the rounds of the cemetery and keeping a special eye on the fresh graves.
Frog In My Throat
This American idiom has been in use since the late 19th century: it was first published in 1847 in the book "How to be a Man" by the American priest Harvey Newcomb and denoted the inability to speak because of embarrassment. But often this expression means exactly the consequences of a cold, when a person sounds like a frog because of a sore throat.
Bull In A China Shop
In London in the XVII century, an agricultural fair was held. One of the traders had tied his bull up badly, and when he was free, he decided to take a little walk. It so happened that he wandered into a Chinese shop located near the fair, which sold very beautiful and expensive porcelain. The clumsy animal killed almost all the goods. Since then, it has been customary to call clumsy people "steers in the china shop".
Fish Out Of Water
Mind Your Own Beeswax
This American idiom has its roots in the days when women melted wax at home to cast candles. If the hostess had hesitated, the wax (and in the worst case, the fire) would have ended up on the stove and clothes.
This English phraseology is associated with the times when the nobility wore large wigs.