Idioms And Expressions
can be so confusing!

Using one of his favorite English idioms and expressions, my boss once said to me: "Burn a copy of this report for me!" I didn’t know what that meant at the time. And so, I started looking for a box of matches!


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- Have you seen Joey? I'm late for my meeting, and I need my report.
- He must be around. I told him to burn a copy of the report for you.


Of course, that was a long time ago!

This and more than 2000 other phrases, sayings, and expressions, along with their meanings and examples, have been tabulated on this site in alphabetical order and using a logical format. In some cases the likely origins are also given.

"I already have a mother!" "Get his goat!" "Deep sixing," "Last chicken in the shop," and "Having an axe to grind" are just a few more of such examples on this site! And more are added as we come across them.

Some interesting expressions, idioms, and proverbs from other languages and cultures have also been included. This is especially refreshing as it shows how universal some ideas are, and how people of the world have more things in common than we tend to realize!

We have also included some humorous illustrations that show how some idioms or expressions could be misinterpreted by someone who is hearing them for the first time. Can you imagine, for example, how difficult it would be to "burn the candle at both ends!"?

Whether or not you are a native English speaker, the information here will help you to better communicate with others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, teacher, tourist, businessman, employee, or an employer; this site will help you.

If English IS NOT your native language, you can use the information here to better understand what you hear, read, or even say. And if English IS your native language, you can use it to say things more clearly so that others will understand you better.



If you are a foreign ESL student, or if you teach English to foreign students, look here for information on teachers, classes, grammar checks, tests, etc.

And if you like quotations or appropriate saying for various occasions, look here for quotations by authors, philosophers, and other famous people. You will also see favorite sayings appropriate for weddings, birthdays, and so on. As varied as fortune cookie sayings to bumper sticker favorites! And more.

And don't forget, learning English idioms and expressions is just one way of improving your English proficiency. There are other factors to consider as well, such as verbal and non verbal communication skills, cross cultural communication issues, miscommunication problems, and so on. Look here to learn more about improving your communication skills in English speaking countries.

We also have links to other great websites that have various and interesting features.


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- Excuse me sir, do you have some midnight oil?

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English Idioms

Also by the same author:

English Idioms

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