Archive | junio 2013

The Black Sheep of the Family

La oveja negra de la familia

the black sheep of the family

Click on the image to listen to the song, “Black sheep pf the family” by Rainbow

Meaning:

A person who is disgraceful  for a group of people. Someone who nobody can feel proud of.

the black sheep of the family5

Click on the image to watch Bray Singles explaining this idiom to you

Origin:

This idiom has been used since the XIX century to describe someone who brings dishonor or who brings shame to a family, group of people or community. Farmers thought that black sheep were a disgrace for them since they couldn´t dye their black fleece. Moreover, people believed that black sheep were brought by the devil to scare the others. Invariably, black sheep were always put to death.

the black sheep of the family3

Click on the image to listen to the song, “Black sheep of the family” by Quartermass

Example:

• My cousin James dropped out school when he was 15. Then, he starting doing odd jobs to survive, but at 18 he started a criminal career that took him to prison; where he will stay for five years. Every time that people ask me about James, I just answer. I don´t want to talk about him. He is the black sheep of the family.
the black sheep of the family1

To Do a Gwyneth

Hacer el oso

(Special acknowledgements are due to: Renata Buenfil, Karla Molina, Rodolfo Gómez and Armando Barreto, students of the Higher Studies 2 group at The Anglo Coapa whose contribution was essential to the realization of this contribution.)

to do a Gwyneth4

Click on the image to watch 1999 Gwyneth Paltrow´s Oscar Awards recipient speech.

Meaning:

To give a speech in a really sensitive and emotional way, in which the speaker tends to exaggerate and put him or herself to shame.

to do a Gwyneth2

Click on the image to watch a man doing a Gwyneth in his Best Man´s Speech

Origin:

In the Academy Awards of 1999, Gwyneth Paltrow won the prize for best actress, she gave a lengthy and overemotional speech in which she broke in tears. Those who were present could not believe what they were seeing and they just turned their faces around as if asking each other, “What is happening here?” After the ceremony the media bitterly critisized her recipient´s speech.

to do a Gwyneth

Click on the image to watch a man doing a Gwyneth while giving a Best Man´s Speech

Example:

The father of the girl who was celebrating her sweet sixteen, was under the influence of alcohol and when he gave a speech for his daughter, he started to cry and speaking non-sense while sobbing. Everybody around felt outraged and finally realized he had just done a Gwyneth.

to do a Gwyneth3

Click on the image to watch some people doing a Gwyneth while giving speeches

Let the Cat out of the Bag

Soltar la sopa

let the cat out of the bag

Click on the image to watch a video by “Pueblo Inglés”

Meaning:

To tell or reveal a secret.

let the cat out of the bag2

Click on the image to watch the animation, “let the cat out of the bag” by Iamcuris

Origin:

Many years ago, in England, dishonest merchants used to sell cats instead of the piglets that people were paying for. People didn´t realize they had been cheated until they arrived home and opened the bag. It was then that the cat jumped out of the bag that they discovered the sad truth. There are others expressions related to this one, which are: Spill the beans and buy a pig in a poke. People started using this expression as a way to tell the merchant that they were aware of the possible trickery to come by asking the merchant to open the bag in front of them by saying, “let the cat out of the bag!”

let the cat out of the bag

Click on the image to learn cat idioms with EnglishAnyone

Example:

• My mother didn´t know she was going to be given a new car until my father, indiscreetly, let the cat out of the bag some days before her birthday party.
let the cat out of the bag1

Bite Your Tongue

Calladito te ves más bonito

Bite your tongue

Click on the image to watch the video of the song, “Bite your tongue” by Chantal Claret

Meaning:

To regret about something you have just said, to fight with yourself to no to say something you do really want to.

Bite your tongue

Click on the image to watch a video explaining this idiom by Newone English

Origin:

There are several expressions used to refrain someonés intentions to say ir do something, such as: Hold your horses or hold your tongue. Now, imagine that you want to say something while pressing your tongue between your teeth . It´s difficult, isn´t it? Well, this is why people command others to keep quiet by saying, “Bite your tongue!”

Bite your tongue

Click on the image to watch the video, “The art of biting your tongue” by Steven Roddy

Example:

•I saw my best friend´s girlfriend in a party kissing another guy. When she noticed I was there, she challenged me to tell my friend, arguing that he would never believe me and that it would jeopardize our friendship. Then, anytime they come together, she just gives me a sarcastic smile, while I keep telling myself, “Bite your tongue! Don´t say anything at all! He is so much in love with her.”
Bite your tongue

Click on the image to watch the video “Bite your tongue” by Lolene

Bite the Hand that Feeds You

Morder la mano que te da de comer

 

Bite the hand that feeds you

Bite the hand that feeds you, click on the image to watch the video “Bite the hand that feeds” by Nine Inch Nails

 

Meaning:

To attack someone who has helped you, to turn against someone who had done good things to you.

 

Bite the hand that feeds you

Bite the hand that feeds you. click on the image to learn more about this idiom

 

Origin:

This saying, since the 1700, has referred to an ungrateful dog which bit the hand of its owner in the very moment when it was being fed by him. This expression is now used to refer to those who act against you after you have spent time helping them (not literally feeding them).

 

Bite the hand that feeds you

Bite the hand that feeds you, click on the image to listen to the song, “Don´t bite the hand that feeds” by Modestep

 

 

Example:

-Oh, Gosh. I am so freaking mad.

-What happened to you Alfred?

-I helped John to get his new position as a manager and now he tells me I am fired! Can you imagine?
-Oh, my God. He has totally bitten the hand that used to feed him.
Bite the hand that feeds you

Bite the hand that feeds you, click on the image to learn more about this idiom with EnglishWare

To Bite the Dust


Morder el Polvo
 

Bite the dust

Bite the dust, click on the image to watch a video by the Pussy Cat Dolls, “Bite the dust”

Meaning:

Somebody who bites the dust is that one who either has died or who has been unsuccessful in getting a goal.

Bite the dust

Bite the dust, click on the image to get ethymological information about the expression

Origin:

This expression was firstly used in the Iliad. In it, Homer describes how many warriors who were defeated fell to the earth as a heavy sack. They hit their faces on the ground. Consequently, they bit the dust. When the bodies were taken away to bury, their faces had dust in their mouths. Nowadays, a person bites the dust not because he/she has died  but as a signal of being defeated.

Bite the dust

Bite the dust, click on the image to listen to Queen´s, “Another one bites the dust”

Example:

• When we were arriving to the arena where the basketball final game was going to be played, our contenders began threatening us so as to scare us. They told us that we should call our moms because that night we were going to bite the dust.
Bite the dust

Bite the dust, click on the image to watch Lego Video, “Another one bites the dust” by Queen

To Bite The Bullet

Aguantar vara

Bite the Bullet,  click on the image

Bite the Bullet, click on the image to listen to the song, “Bite the Bullet” by the band Bullet

Meaning:

We bite the bullet so as to prepare ourselves for an unpleasant experience. We brace ourselves to courageously endure a painful situation.

Bite the Bullet, click on the image

Bite the Bullet, click on the image to watch the video game, “Bite the Bullet”

Origin:

In the 19th century, when a soldier had to be operated by doctors without any anesthetics, he was given a bullet to bite so as to tolerate the pain. Biting the soft lead of the bullet let the soldier withstand the pain. It prevented the soldier form screaming.

Bite the Bullet, click on the image

Bite the Bullet, click on the image to watch the trailer of the movie, “Bite the Bullet” with Gener Hackman

Example:

• My boss organized a party one week before announcing the next cost reduction project. This plan includes to lay off tens of workers. The party was nice and everybody enjoyed it. Even though, we knew some of us would not work for the company any more, the party really helped us to bite the bullet.
Bite the bullet, click on the image

Bite the bullet, click on the image to listen to the song, “Bite the Bullet” by Motorhead

To bite off more than you can chew

El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta

 

Bite more than you can chew

Bite more than you can chew, “Click on the image to watch a video”

Meaning:

You bite off more than you can chew when you attempt to accomplish a task that is more than what you can really make or when you try to perform different activities at once but it is recommendable to do one at a time.

 

 

Bite off more than you can chew

Bite off more than you can chew, “Click on the image to watch a video”

Origin:

If you get a bite of something but that is too big for your mouth to chew, you will not be able to eat it. This idea now represents to undertake a task (bite off) that is too much for you to handle well (more than you can chew.

 

Bite off more than you can chew, "Click on the image to hear Frank Sinatra´s My Way"

Bite off more than you can chew

Example:

• Leonard is studying university and preparing his thesis work for his graduation but he also wants to train to represent his university in the next ice-skating nation-wide competitions. I don’t think he will be able to make it. I think that he is biting off more than he can chew.
Bite off more than you can chew

Bite off more than you can chew, “Click on the image to watch a fable”