idiom

The following articles have the tag idiom

Who first said ‘this is the last straw’?

dictionary meaning of the last straw

Who first said ‘this is the last straw’?

What does straw have to do with reaching your limit, anyway?

Origin of ‘speak of the devil’

the devil

Origin of ‘speak of the devil’

Find out how the saying ‘speak of the devil’ came into everyday language.

Idiom origin: ‘spick and span’

Spick and span clean nails

Idiom origin: ‘spick and span’

Looking for a clear-cut explanation for spic and span? This isn’t it.

Test your mettle

See what you’re made of by testing your mettle

Test your mettle

To test your mettle is to demonstrate resolve and determination; to be tenacious.

Do you know what ‘OK’ means?

Hand doing OK symbol

Do you know what ‘OK’ means?

You say it every day but do you know how OK originated?

Are you a ‘goody two shoes’?

It wasn’t always bad to be a ‘goody two shoes’

Are you a ‘goody two shoes’?

Being a ‘goody two shoes’ used to be a good thing – especially for kids.

Do you ‘jump the gun’, too?

Do you ‘jump the gun’? Here’s the origin to this phrase

Do you ‘jump the gun’, too?

An idiom made especially for those who act before it is time.

Keep your ‘nose to the grindstone’

Ancient grindstone used to crush grain

Keep your ‘nose to the grindstone’

Which of these two theories about this idiom’s origin is most plausible?

Idiom origin: ‘on the ball’

Cricket fast bowler ready to pitch

Idiom origin: ‘on the ball’

This phrase has been used for a long time, but what exactly is the ‘ball’?

How ‘get off scot-free’ originated

Children caught in the act but denying responsibility

How ‘get off scot-free’ originated

You may be surprised to learn the Scots have nothing to do with this phrase.

Origin of ‘a grain of salt’

Salt shaker spilled on table

Origin of ‘a grain of salt’

Can you guess how ‘to take with a grain of salt’ originated?

Where ‘ducks in a row’ comes from

Line of rubber ducks in a row

Where ‘ducks in a row’ comes from

Do you know where ‘ducks in a row’ comes from?

Does this theory ‘cut the mustard’?

Green plastic toy soldiers in line against white background

Does this theory ‘cut the mustard’?

Two theories on where ‘cut the mustard’ and ‘pass mustard’ originated.

What are ‘pants on fire’?

Pants on fire burning on a rope

What are ‘pants on fire’?

Today, we reveal the origin of this popular children’s chant.

What costs an arm and a leg?

Detached doll arms and legs on black

What costs an arm and a leg?

Why we started using the phrase ‘it costs an arm and a leg’.

Who the heck is this bloke Riley?

Elegant man with top hat sitting in chair

Who the heck is this bloke Riley?

Today we discover the origin of the idiom: living the life of Riley.

Origin of ‘chip on your shoulder’

Boxing gloves hanging over a shoulder symbolizing the origins of the chip on your shoulder

Origin of ‘chip on your shoulder’

From dockyard to schoolyard: learn the origin of ‘chip on your shoulder’.

A penny for your thoughts

Jar of spilled pennies

A penny for your thoughts

What is the origin of the saying ‘penny for your thoughts’?

Why ‘beat around the bush’?

beat around the bush

Why ‘beat around the bush’?

Learn about the origin of the idiom ‘beat around the bush’ or, if you’re English, ...

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