Origin of English idioms and slang wordsOrigin of English idioms and slang words
Introduction Idiom - a group of words whose meaning cannot be predicted from the meanings of the constituent words, or linguistic usage that is grammatical and natural to native speakers of a language. Idioms can be professional (only specialists know what they mean), they can be used only by students, children, etc. Slang - something that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language, is a special part of a language. Words to the wiseAnimalsSlang wordsWords with many variants of origin
Words to the wise.Once in a blue moon This expression appeared in the 16-century, from the rhythm that the moon was made of green cheese. But some people now say that on crystal-clear nights, or in areas full of volcanic ash, the moon does appear blue. Example:You know how these peasants eat: macaroni on Sundays and meat once in a blue moon. (W. S. Maugham, ‘Complete Short Stories’, ‘The Lotus Eater’)
Words to the wise. Long in the tooth It’s just the old person. This expression first appeared in the book of J,C.Snaith ‘Love Jane’(1919), and originally it referred only to horses. The older the horse is, the longer its teeth look. Example:He was too long in the tooth to fool round with dynamite, like talking about a big slug that did not exist. (K. S. Prichard, ‘The Roaring Nineties’, ch. 56)
Words to the wise.Pardon My French It started circulating on both sides of the Atlantic around 1916 and so almost certainly stems from the World War I escapades of American and British soldiers. People say that when they apologize for something. Example:What she needs is a kick, pardon my French — Ей просто нужно задать перцу, вот и все, извините, если я не так выразился.
Words to the wise.To give someone the cold shoulder When guests would overstay their welcome as house guests, the Hosts would (instead of feeding them good, warm meals) give their too-long staying guests the worst part of the animal, not warmed, but the COLD SHOULDER. Example:She cold shouldered the guy who was rude to her— Она холодно обошлась с тем парнем, который ей нагрубил.
Animals.White elephant Siamese, one of the tribes in Africa, considered them sacred, and any captured white elephant (they were not so rare) became the property of emperor. Оne of the emperors invented the terrible way of punishment for his courtiers – he offered them this elephant. The animal ate, ran around the house, destroyed the fences and roofs… And his master was not allowed to ride it by law! Many courtiers simply couldn’t afford the upkeep of the elephant and became just financially ruined. Example:The pavilion has become a £14 million steel and glass white elephant.
Animals.Dog days Example:These dog days in our town are annoying for me.I have a headache because of the heat. That means the hottest and driest days in the summer. Or someone’s bad days when one feels very much uneasy and uncomfortable. It comes from the Roman times when a constellation of a Dog existed. Days where you could see this constellation were called Dog days (they began in the middle of the summer).
Slang words.Hobnob. Hobnob does back to Habben (to have) and Ne habben (to have not). It ‘s a contraction of these two words. They are both Middle English. And the second version – it described the custom of alternating purchasing rounds of drinks (having or not having the next one). Example:Jane's mother likesto hobnob with theleading women ofthe city. Example:She’s editor-in-chief of our magazine, our honcho, almost a legend. Honcho This is a leader or boss. This expression was brought to the USA from fliers stationed in Japan during World War Two. In Japanese that means ‘a leader of the squad’, and American began to use it too.
Slang words.Eavesdroppers Examples:Look out! You needn’t any eavesdroppers to hear our conversation, do you? From the 16 through the 19 centuries houses were surrounded by eavesdrops, spaces where water dripped from the eaves. It was invented to provide the security of the foundation(to make rain fall far enough from the house). The first eavesdroppers stood there to hear private conversations.
Many variants of origin.To keep a stiff upper lip
Many variants of origin.Minding your p’s and q’s
Many variants of origin.Saved by the bell
Many variants of origin.To burn the candle at both ends
Many variants of origin.Rule of thumb
Many variants of origin.Tie the knot
The endThanks for your attention!