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Grammar and Idioms For Young People

Idioms: Colorful

These American English idioms are interesting. "Colorful," in this case, means different and interesting. You may want to add them to your speech if you enjoy speaking in a humorous or colorful way. It is good to know them so that you can understand native speakers.

Practice these idioms by watching a video and reading a conversation.

Learn more idioms: Everyday idioms, Business idioms, Very colorful idioms.

Learn the Idioms
just what the doctor ordered: exactly what you need

rule of thumb: a general rule or a rule to live by

out of this world: extraordinary (often used by young people)

give (someone) the time of day: show that you notice someone, usually used negatively--"she never gives me the time of day." The implication is that the person would not even acknowledge you if you asked "what time is it?"

work out the kinks: to finalize the small details, comes from getting small knots (kinks) out of the muscles

step up to the plate: (from baseball) to do what you can, to take on a needed role

give it a shot: give it a try, try something (though "shot" is used, this is a positive expression of attempting effort)

rumor has it that ... : a light or humorous way of saying someone knows something, could be anything.

In Use:

Thanks for the grammar book. It was just what the doctor ordered. Now I can finally understand my mistakes.

As a rule of thumb: always support your manager's decisions. If you have to disagree, do so respectfully.

Wow! That was such a good movie. The effects were out of this world!

My boss never gives me the time of day. I'm not sure if she doesn't like me or if she treats everyone like that.

We're almost done with the remodeling plan. Now we just have to work out the kinks.

I'm glad your father stepped up to the plate when we needed him. Without his help, we would never have finished the home repair.

We don't have much time to prepare a strong presentation, but let's give it a shot!

Rumor has it that you're giving up your day job. Is that true?

The waitor said, "Rumor has it that you're waiting for your check. Here it is."


Learn More Idioms
... in Siberia: means somewhere remote or far away, picked up by Americans from the cold war with Russia

for crying out loud: said as exclamation, "For crying out loud!" This means that something is so crazy or frustrating, you want to cry out loud.

pipe dream: something you want that is not likely to happen (originated from opium smoking, popular in the 1920's, but that origin is long forgotten in popular usage)

tightening belts: saving money (comes from eating less and getting thinner)

shell out: to pay for something, usually when you do not want to or when the expense is larger than you think is fair

take [someone] for a ride: to lie or cheat

silly goose: exclamation used when someone is silly, only used for friends and family

let the cat out of the bag: let a secret become known

In Use:

Looks like you two are sitting in Siberia. I almost didn't see you, since you're in this dark corner.

The test was cancelled? For crying out loud! I studied all night.

I know you want to become a millionaire with your new blog, but I think that's a pipe dream.

My sister isn't travelling to see us this year. I think she is tightening her belt because her hours were reduced at work.

I can't believe I had to shell out $700 to the mechanic! I only hope he didn't take me for a ride.

The mother said, "You silly goose! Pick up all those toys."

What I told you is private information. Don't let the cat out of the bag.

Practice these idioms:

watch a video and read a conversation.


Learn more idioms: Everyday idioms, Business idioms, Very colorful idioms.

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