Archive | julio 2013

Leave Someone Holding the Bag

Dejar a alguien colgado de la brocha 

left holding the bag1

Pictures taken from Googles Images, “Leave someone holding the bag”
Click on the image to watch the video of the song “Holding the bag” by Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley

Meaning:

Not to share the blame with someone who has been accused of doing wrong when it was a group who participated or helped him in the offense.

left holding the bag3

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Leave someone holding the bag”
Click on the images to watch a news report in which someone was left holding the bag

Origin:

During the 1780´s in America, it was said that a boy was played a trick by his mean friends who sent him to the forest at night with just a bag and a lantern. Arguably, he had been said that the lantern would help him catch a bird which, attracted by the light, would fly straight into the bag. The mischievous friends told their victim that they would join them in the middle of the forest at midnight to help him catch the bird, but in the end, he stayed all night long alone and afraid.

left holding the bag

Pictures taken from Google Images
Click on the image to learn more about this idiom in http://www.americanidioms.net

Example:

• A corrupt politician, leader of a union was sent to prison for robbery. He was confident that the union would use its power to set him free, but this never happened. He was left holding the bag.
left holding the bag2

Blind as a Bat

Más ciego que un topo

 

blind as a bat

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Blind as a bat”
Click on the image to watch the video of the song, “Blind as a bat” in the Corpse of the Bride by Meatloaf

Meaning:

When someone is as blind as a bat, that person is not able to see anything at all, or at least that person has a very poor vision.

blind as a bat1

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Blind as a bat”
Click on the image to watch the video “Blind as a bat” in Smallville by Meatloaf

Origin:

There are many expressions that use analogies; as deaf as a doornail, as slow as a turtle, as sly as a fox. Bats are animals which can´t see anything at all. The way they guide themselves while flying is by sonar waves they shout out.

blind as a bat2

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Blind as a bat”
Click on the image to watch a video about echo location for blind bikers by HDNetworldReport

Example:

•When Jennifer offered me a lift to my house, she scared the life out me. She skipped the stops, fell in the potholes, and we almost crashed fives times. I don´t understand how she can drive if she is as blind as a bat.
blind as a bat3
Pictures taken from Google Images,
“Blind as a bat”
Click on the image to watch a documentary
about bats by Think Straight Films

To Call it a Day

Ni un martillazo más / Es hora de echar la hamaca

call it a day1

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Call it a day”
Click on the image to watch the trailer of the movie, “The Night We Called it a Day”

Meaning:

This idiom means that it is time to stop work.

call it a day

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Call it a day”
Click on the image to watch the video of the song “Call it a day” by Rachel Talbott

Origin:

People start the day working and spend most of the day working as well. Then, when we call it a day, we mean that it has been enough work for one day and it is time to go home to relax and to save energy for tomorrow´s workday. This idiom could have been coined in the XIX century when people devoted most of their to work.

call it a day3

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Call it a day”
Click on the image to watch the video fo “Call it a day promo Summer 2013” by Gucci Submarine

Example:

•-(Ring, ring, ring) Hello! Who is it?
•-Hi, Bob. This is Mike. What are you doing?
•-I´m here stuck with some legal documents I am revising for a meeting. What are you up to?
•-Well, the guys and I are hanging around to the bar for a couple of beers. Would you like to come over?
•-Well, I think it is time to call it a day. I can finish checking the papers tomorrow morning!
call it a day2
Pictures taken from Google Images, “Call it a day”
Click on the image to learn more about this idiom
with TwoMinute English

To be Cut Out for Something

Nacido para ser…

cut out to be3

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Cut out to be”
Click on the image to watch the video, “Are you cut out to be an entrepeneur?” by Andrea Bolder

Meaning:

This idiom means that you are really suitable to perform a certain activity. All your personal traits, features and skills are appropriate for succeeding and being happy  at a specific job. It is like when we say that you were born for something.

cut out to be

Pictures taken from Google Images “Cut out to be”
Click on the image to listen to the song, “Cut out to be” by A. Gray

Origin:

If a vocation were to be represented by a suit. Then, we could safely say that  if that suit is especially made for you, it should have to fit you like a glove. The suit was cut out for you.

cut out to be1

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Cut out to be”
Click on the image to listen to the song, “Not cut out” by Katy McAllister

Example:

• My son kept saying, when he was a child, that  one day he would become a lawyer. The problem is that he is a very sociable and nice person who wants to help every one. Of course, he realized that his personality doesn´t  match with the attributes that are required to perform that job. He finally  understood that  he was not cut out to be a lawyer.
cut out to be2

Cough Up

Caerse con la lana / Soltar la sopa

cough uo

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Cough Up”
Click on the image to learn more about this idiom in The Free Dictionary

Meaning:

To give money or information away reluctantly or unwillingly.

cough up4

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Cough Up”
Click on the image to watch the video of the song “Cough it up” by Evarose

Origin:

This idiom dates back to the middle ages when the kings tax collectors went home to home. The peasants would do almost anything to keep what little gold they had, which included swallowing the coins in effort to conceal them. It didn´t take long for the collectors to catch up on this act and forced the people to regurgitate the swallowed gold. whether it was by minute amounts of poison or just by sticking their fingers down their throats the collectors made the peasants “cough up” what was hidden. If you owed money to the mafia during the XX century in the USA, they would go and break your legs to make you pay. Some police forces used torture to make you confess what they wanted to know.

cough up1

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Cough Up”
Click on the image to watch a video of the game “Cough Up a Lung” by Shyne & 40 Gloc Diss

Example:

•Johnny owes me $200 bucks but he keeps making excuses to pay. I will post on the net that he owes me and I will recommend everybody not to lend him any money. I think that way I can force him to cough up.
cough up2

Clear the Air

Limpiar el ambiente / Crear un buen ambiente

clear the air

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Clear the air”
Click on the image to lear more about this idiom with The Phrase Finder

Meaning:

If you want to clear the air, you try to remove the causes of anger, worry, fear or suspicious by taking all the necessary steps to create a nice environment in the organization.

clear the air2

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Clear the air”
Click on the image to watch the video of the song “Clear the air” by Jacco Gardner

 

Origin:

There are times in which we are in a closed place and any reason, the air gets polluted. It might be because of dust or smoke. Then, we open the windows to clear the air. Figuratively speaking, by  1380, John Wyclif wrote that “winds of truth should blow away heresies, and clear the airs of holy church, which is now full troubled…”

clear the air1

Pictures taken form Google Images, “Clear the air”
Click on the image to watch the report “Let´s Clear the Air” by MSNBC

 

Example:

• After all the problems between the two countries, the new prime minister has decided to pay a friendly short visit to his counterpart, the main objective of the trip being just to clear the air.  

 

clear the air3

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Clear the Air”
Click on the image to watch the video of the song, “Clear the Air” by Off with their heads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Chip Off the Old Block

De tal palo, tal astilla / Hijo de tigre, pintito

a chip off the old block

Pictures taken from Google Images “Chip off the old block”
Click on the image to watch how a chip of the old block is used in the Angry Birds Game

Meaning:

A child who looks and behaves as his own father does.

A chip off the old block3

Pictures taken from Google Images, “Chip off the old block”
Click on the image to watch a part of the movie “Chip off the old block” with Donald Connor

Origin:

This old expression goes back to the Greek times. A chip is a piece from a block of stone or a big log of wood. If you chip off the block, you take or cut a piece of it. Of course, that this chip would have the same qualities and properties that the old block has since it comes straight from it.

a chip off the old block2

Pictures taken from Google Images “Chip off the old block”.
Click on the image to watch the catoon “24 chips off the old block” Metro-Goldwin Mayer Productions

Example:

• Look at John Jr. he wears the same kind of clothes as his father does. He cuts and brushes his hair in the same way as his father does. He even likes to chew toothpicks as his father does and if you look at him, he asks you the same question his father would, “Do you have a cow with me?” It goes without saying that John Jr. is a chip off the old block.
a chip off the old block1

To Have a Cow (USA)/ To Have Kittens (UK)

Andar como león enjaulado / Andar enchilado

have a cow

Meaning:

To be angry, to have a fit.

Picture taken from Google Images, “Have a cow”
Click on the image to listen to the song “Have a cow” Ft. Manul

 

Origin:

The expression “To have a Cow” comes from the 1950´s in the USA. It was first used in a book but then it also appeared in TV shows as in Scooby Doo and The Simpsons. There are several stories around its origin but one says that if a woman, instead of expecting a baby, she were pregnant with a cow, she would have a terrible time and a consequence a terrible mood. On the other hand, in medieval times, it was supposed that if a woman had a difficult pregnancy, it was because she had been inseminated by a black cat and instead of expecting a human baby, it was said that the woman was pregnant with kittens.

have a cow3

Picture taken from Google Images, “Have a cow”
Click on the image to watch the episode “Don´t have a cow” on That´s so Raven series by Disney

 

Example:

• My father has been nervous all day because he will have a very important meeting tomorrow where he will give a presentation to the board of directors. He was such in a bad mood that when I told him. “C´mon dad. Don´t have a cow!” He didn´t answer to me. He just throw a shoe at me as I started running away.
have a cow1

To Get Over the Hill

Estar entrado en años / Pintar canas / Andar rondando el hoyo

over the hill1

Click on the image to watch the video of the song, “Over the hill” by Monika

Meaning:

Too old to be able to do something; to escape  from prison or the military.

over the hill2

Click on the image to listen to the symphony “Over the Hill” by Antonio Seixa

Origin:

If we considered that the lives of humans were like climbing a hill or mountain; then, we would have to say that when we are born, we are at the skirts of the hill. As we grow older, we scale on the slope up to higher areas. When we are at an old edge and very close to arrive at the end of our lives, we would be on the hill. If we are over the hill, it is because we are living more a longer life than the rest of people. On the other hand, for the second use of this idiom, we have to remember that prisons and the military are usually built at far and away areas usually surrounded by hills and mountains so that not everybody can trespass into their facilities or escape.

over the hill

Click on the image to learn more about this idiom with BLT Eigo

Example:

•A very good friend of mine is always laughing at me because she says I look like a senior citizen. But the other day when I saw her ID, I could read her date of birth and then I told her, “Hey, honey. According to this card, it seems that somebody is getting over the hill”.
over the hill4

To Catch Someone´s Eye

Atrapar tu mirada  

 

catch someone´s eye1

Click on the image to watch a video of an example about when to use this idiom

Meaning:

To attract someone´s attention, to find someone attractive, to make eye contact with somebody else for the first time.

 

catch your eye3

Google Images: To catch someone´s eye. Click on the image to watch a video in which a soccer player uses this idiom.

Origin:

If you catch someone´s eye, that means that your sight aims at that person. Originally, this idiom was used with the intention of saying that somebody else was the focus of your attention for whatever reason it might be. Nowadays, the meaning of this idiom has extended into romance to tell that you have a crush on someone else, your romantic pursuit.

 

catch someone´s eye2

Click on the image to learn how to get a guy´s attention by Howcast

Example:

•I had never believed in love at first sight, but last night something weird happened to me. I went to my friend´s house to celebrate his birthday and there was his cousin Angela. What an awesome woman. She is beautiful, charming, sweet, clever. She just caught my eye since the very moment our eyes met and now I just can´t take her out of my mind.
catch someone´s eye3