Idiomatic expressions are phrases that have a figurative meaning.
An idiom or idiomatic expression is a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' meanings would suggest. For example, an English speaker would understand the phrase "kick the bucket" to mean "to die" â€“ and also to actually kick a bucket.You'll pick up the meaning of idioms as you spend more time in the USA, but listed below are few common ones to get you started.
These are some of the most common idiomatic expressions you may encounter people saying in the U.S.:
"AÂ penny for your thoughts"Â A way of asking what someone is thinking"At the drop of a hat"Â Without any hesitation; instantly"Back to the drawing board"Â When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over"Ball is in your court"Â It is up to you to make the next decision or step"Blessing in disguise"Â Something good that isn't recognized at first"Can't judge a book by its cover"Â Cannot judge something primarily on appearance"Costs an arm and a leg"Â This idiom is used when something is very expensive"Cross that bridge when you come to it"Â Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before"Cry over spilt milk"Â Regret about something that has already happened or cannot be changed"Devil's Advocate"Â To present a counter-argument"Don't put all your eggs in one basket"Â Do not put all your resources in one possibilityÂ "Down in the dumps"Â Sad or depressed"Every cloud has a silver lining"Â Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days"Hit the nail on the head"Â Do or say something exactly right"Hit the hay"Â To go to bed"Hold your horses"Â Be patientÂ "Kill two birds with one stone"Â To accomplish two different things at the same time"Let the cat out of the bag"Â To share information that was previously concealedÂ "On the ball"Â When someone understands the situation wellÂ "Once in a blue moon"Â Happens very rarelyÂ "Piece of cake"Â A job, task or other activity that is easy or simpleÂ "Pulling your leg"Â Just jokingÂ "Raining cats and dogs"Â Very hard rainÂ Â "Under the weather"Â Not well"I had a dizzy spell last night"Â A short period of dizzinessâ€œI feel right as rainâ€ or â€œI feel fit as a fiddleâ€ Perfectly fit and wellâ€œI feel sick as a dog"Â Extremely illâ€œI was out cold after I hit my head" Unconscious or sleeping very heavilyâ€œDo you want to hang with us after our shift?â€ To spend time with someoneFeel free to reach out to your most current assigned PassportUSA representative if you have any questions.Be sure to check out more great articles in the Employee Education Center to help you succeed in your new life in the USA!