Saturday, March 11, 2017

Old School Idioms


The other day, I was conversing with my daughter in what I considered to be perfectly normal English. I don't remember the topic, or exactly what I said, but I do remember her outburst of laughter interrupted my thoughts.

"What?" she giggled? 

 "What do you mean what?" I asked in confused exasperation. 
Containing her laughter, she repeated my apparently old school words and flashed me a quizzical look.  "Mom, what does that even mean?"
It'd never occurred to me that I tend to speak idioms that to many are obsolete.
That being said, I decided to  write down some of my favorites, and would ask that you contribute yours.
And please, while your at, pass along some new updated versions, (along with their meanings), so I can work on closing the generational gap. 

Cool As a Cucumber

Like a broken record

Cat nap/forty winks

Blue in the face

Hold your horses

Scared the living daylights out of me.
Head In The Clouds
Dead As A Doornail
It'll be a Piece Of Cake
Never bite the hand that feeds you 

Happy as a clam

Cry over spilt milk

Add insult to injury

A bit under the weather

Hit the nail on the head

Let sleeping dogs lie

Off your rocker

Blessing in disguise

Beat around the bush

ball in your court

barking up the wrong tree

curiosity killed the cat

blind as a bat

Hit the sack...... 

Yes, I really do use these, all the time!! ha ha


  1. Love these. My dad used so many expressions that we've been collecting them for years. Two of my favorites:
    Cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon.
    If I had a swing like that, I'd paint it red and put it in my back yard.
    Six of one and half a dozen of another.
    Sorry I can't help with the updated versions, I'm clueless there. The younger generation mostly talks in movie lines.

    1. Actually, I ended up sharing three, didn't I?

  2. My favorite one is "more than you can shake a stick at." My grandmother says it all the time & I've picked it up. I said it one day in class and all of my students looked at me like I was crazy.

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  4. Honest to Pete. I can't go a day without some figurative language.

  5. Rubbing salt in the wound. Mind your Ps and Qs (from printing before computers, when printers had to sort little lead letters.) I often have to explain old expressions to my 4th graders when we read books from the past.

  6. I was just teaching this to some sixth graders a few weeks ago and they had no idea what most of the ones I mentioned meant! Is that a sign of getting old?!?