Do you ‘jump the gun’, too?

Do you sometimes anticipate an occasion so highly that you act before it's time? This is what’s colloquially called ‘jumping the gun’ and here’s how this particular idiom originated.


Keep your ‘nose to the grindstone’

Where did ‘to keep your nose to the grindstone’ originate? Here are two theories on how this popular phrase began. Which do you think is the most plausible?


Idiom origin: ‘on the ball’

When a person is ‘on the ball’ they are considered to be highly alert and capable. This well-worn phrase has been used for a long time, but what exactly is the ‘ball’?


English: according to George Carlin

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger. Let’s face it – English is a crazy language – with plenty of leeway for laughs, especially when George Carlin has his way with it!


How ‘get off scot-free’ originated

Have you ever felt the elation of ‘getting off scot-free’? It’s tempting to imagine that this idiom has something to do with the Scottish. The facts, however, suggest otherwise.


Origin of ‘a grain of salt’

Taking what someone says ‘with a grain of salt’ means that you are skeptical about what you’re being told. Can you guess how this phrase originated?


Where ‘ducks in a row’ comes from

To get one’s ducks in a row means to ensure all the finer details of a plan are in place before it begins. People have been using the phrase for a long time but not many know its origin.


Learning a language online

With advances in technology and global communication, it’s never been easier to learn another language. These tools will help put you on the fast track to fluency.


It’s no skin off our nose

We’ve probably all been guilty of the throw away line “no skin off my nose” and while we understand what it means, does anybody really know where it originated?


Just where does the buck stop?

"The buck stops here" may have been made famous by US President Harry S Truman, but the origin is likely to be from something a little more underhand.


Origin of ‘chip on your shoulder’

Have you ever become so angry that you can’t let it go? You could even say you had a ‘chip on your shoulder’. It’s a nice phrase to describe a not-so-nice feeling, but where did it originate?


Getting around language barriers

There’s no doubt that not speaking the local language can make travel more challenging but it’s no reason to hold you back. Here’s how to overcome language barriers.

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