Idiomatic Expressions.

Idiomatic Expressions English Idioms - A bit much to - Cat among the pigeons | English Idioms: A Cat and a dog life - Four corners of the earth | English Idioms Four-square behind - It Never Rains, it pours | English Idioms:  It takes a village - Off the hook | English Idioms: Off the mark - Serving Time | English Idioms: Serve your country-Up sticks |English Idioms: Up the ante - Zip your lips

Colloquialism 

Cross-cultural communication | Language as a Function of Ethnicity

Listening

Critical ReadingThe SQ3R Reading Method

Misc: Creating a communications plan | The Onion - a Framework to build effective organizations | The Threshold of belief - defined | What do you want to do today? | Is Truth knowable? 

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Language as a Function of Ethnicity

So, just because you share a certain ethnicity with others, your message can be delivered effectively - right?  Not really.  When the message is comedy, context is key, as demonstrated by Chinese-born, bio-chemist turned comedian Joe Wong can attest to:  While Mr. Wong was invited to the Late Night Show with David Letterman in 2009,  the audience cracked up when he walk in and said "Hi everybody...So, I am Irish."  While Mr. Wong's humor makes an American audience laugh, in China, where he grew up, people do not not get it.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Idiomatic Expressions


An idiomatic expression is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning understood primarily within a limited geographical area, not unlike colloquial language. Moreover, an idiom is an expression, word, or phrase whose sense means something different from what the words literally imply. There are estimated to be at least 25,000 idiomatic expressions in American English.

When a speaker uses an idiomatic expression, the listener might mistake its actual meaning, if he or she has not heard this figure of speech before. Idiomatic expression, just like comedy, usually do not translate well; in some cases, when an idiom is translated into another language, either its meaning is changed or it is meaningless, for example.

 

 

 


English Idioms Four-square behind - It Never Rains, it pours

 

Four-square behind
    If someone stands four-square behind someone, they give that person their full support.
Fourth estate
    This is an idiomatic way of describing the media, especially the newspapers.
Free rein
    If someone has a free rein, they have the authority to make the decisions they want without any restrictions. ('Free reign' is a common mistake.)
Free-for-all
    A free-for-all is a fight or contest in which everyone gets involved and rules are not respected.
French leave
    To take French leave is to leave a gathering without saying goodbye or without permission.
Fresh from the oven
    If something is fresh from the oven, it is very new.
Freudian Slip
    If someone makes a Freudian slip, they accidentally use the wrong word, but in doing so reveal what they are really thinking rather than what they think the other person wants to hear.
Friendly footing
    When relationships are on a friendly footing, they are going well.
Frog in my throat
    If you have a frog in your throat, you can't speak or you are losing your voice because you have a problem with your throat.
From a different angle
    If you look at something from a different angle, you look at it from a different point of view.
From Missouri
    (USA) If someone is from Missouri, then they require clear proof before they will believe something.
From pillar to post
    If something is going from pillar to post, it is moving around in a meaningless way, from one disaster to another.
From rags to riches
    Someone who starts life very poor and makes a fortune goes from rags to riches.
From scratch
    This idiom means 'from the beginning'.
From soup to nuts
    If you do something from soup to nuts, you do it from the beginning right to the very end.
From the bottom of your heart
    If someone does something from the bottom of their heart, then they do it with genuine emotion and feeling.
From the get-go
    (USA) If something happens from the get-go, it happens from the very beginning.
From the horse's mouth
    If you hear something from the horse's mouth, you hear it directly from the person concerned or responsible.
From the sublime to the ridiculous
    If something declines considerably in quality or importance, it is said to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
From the word go
    From the word go means from the very beginning of something.
Full as a tick
    If you are as full as a tick, you have eaten too much.
Full bore
    If something is full bore, it involves the maximum effort or is complete and thorough.
Full circle
    When something has come full circle, it has ended up where it started.
Full Monty
    (UK) If something is the Full Monty, it is the real thing, not reduced in any way.
Full of beans
    If someone's full of beans, they are very energetic.
Full of hot air
    Someone who is full of hot air talks a lot of rubbish.
Full of oneself
    Someone who acts in a arrogant or egotistical manner is full of himself/herself.
Full of piss and vinegar
    Someone who's full of piss and vinegar is full of youthful energy.
Full of the joys of spring
    If you are full of the joys of spring, you are very happy and full of energy.
Full swing
    If a something is in full swing, it is going or doing well.
Full throttle
    If you do something full throttle, you do it with as much speed and energy as you can.
Fullness of time
    If something happens in the fullness of time, it will happen when the time is right and appropriate.
Fur coat and no knickers
    Someone with airs and graces, but no real class is fur coat and no knickers.
Fuzzy thinking
    Thinking or ideas that do not agree with the facts or information available
Game on
    When someone says 'Game on!', it means that they are accepting a challenge or ready to get something done.
Game plan
    A game plan is a strategy.
Garbage fee
    A garbage fee is a charge that has no value and doesn't provide any real service.
Garbage in, garbage out
    If a computer system or database is built badly, then the results will be bad.
Gardening leave
    (UK) If someone is paid for a period when they are not working, either after they have given in their notice or when they are being investigated, they are on gardening leave.
Gather pace
    If events gather pace, they move faster.
Gather steam
    If something gathers speed, it moves or progresses at an increasing speed.
Get a grip
    If you get a grip, you control your emotions so that they don't overwhelm you.
Get a handle on
    When you get a handle on something, you come to understand it.
Get a sheepskin
    Getting a sheepskin (or your sheepskin) means getting a degree or diploma.  (Sheepskin refers to the parchment that a degree is printed on-  parchment comes from sheepskin.)
Get along famously
    If people get along famously, they have an exceedingly good relationship.
Get away scot-free
    If someone gets away scot-free, they are not punished when they have done something wrong. ('Get off scot-free' is an alternative.)
Get away with murder
    If you get away with murder, you do something bad and don't get caught or punished.('Get away with blue murder' is also used.)
Get back on the horse that bucked you
    When you start drinking again after being hangover from drinking the previous night.
Get in on the act
    If people want to get in on the act, they want to participate in something that is currently profitable or popular.
Get in on the ground floor
    If you get in on the ground floor, you enter a project or venture at the start before people know how successful it might be.
Get it in the neck
    (UK) If you get it in the neck, you are punished or criticized for something.
Get it off your chest
    If you get something off your chest, you confess to something that has been troubling you.
Get my drift
    If you get someone's drift, you understand what they are trying to say. ('Catch their drift' is an alternative form.)
Get off the ground
    If a project or plan gets off the ground, it starts to be put into operation.
Get on like a house on fire
    If people get on like a house on fire, they have a very close and good relationship.
Get on your nerves
    If something gets on your nerves, it annoys or irritates you.
Get on your soapbox
    If someone on their soapbox, they hold forth (talk a lot) about a subject they feel strongly about.
Get out of bed on the wrong side
    If you get out of bed on the wrong side, you wake up and start the day in a bad mood for no real reason.
Get out of your pram
    (UK) If someone gets out of their pram, they respond aggressively to an argument or problem that doesn't involve them.
Get the axe
    If you get the axe, you lose your job.  ('Get the ax' is the American spelling.)
Get the ball rolling
    If you get the ball rolling, you start something so that it can start making progress.
Get the green light
    If you get the green light to do something, you are given the necessary permission, authorization.
Get the monkey off your back
    If you get the monkey off your back, you pass on a problem to someone else.
Get the nod
    (UK) If you get the nod to something, you get approval or permission to do it.
Get the picture
    If you get the picture, you understand a situation fully.
Get the show on the road
    If you get the show on the road, you put a plan into operation or begin something.
Get to grips
    If you get to grips with something, you take control and do it properly.
Get up and go
    If someone has lots of get up and go, they have lots of enthusiasm and energy.
Get wind of
    If you get wind of something, you hear or learn about it, especially if it was meant to be secret.
Get your ducks in a row
    If you get your ducks in a row, you organize yourself and your life.
Get your feathers in a bunch
    If you get your feathers in a bunch, you get upset or angry about something.
Get your feet wet
    If you get your feet wet, you gain your first experience of something.
Get your goat
    If something gets your goat, it annoys you.
Get your hands dirty
    If you get your hands dirty, you become involved in something where the realities might compromise your principles. It can also mean that a person is not just stuck in an ivory tower dictating strategy, but is prepared to put in the effort and hard work to make the details actually happen.
Get your head around something
    If you get your head around something, you come to understand it even though it is difficult to comprehend.
Get your teeth into
    If you get your teeth into something, you become involved in or do something that is intellectually challenging or satisfying.  ('Dig you teeth into' and 'sink your teeth into' are also used.)
Get your wires crossed
    If people get their wires cross, they misunderstand each other, especially when making arrangements.  ('Get your lines crossed' is also used.)
Ghost of a chance
    If something or someone hasn't got a ghost of a chance, they have no hope whatsoever of succeeding.
Ghostly presence
    You can feel or otherwise sense a ghostly presence, but you cannot do it clearly only vaguely.
Gift of the gab
    If someone has the gift of the gab, they speak in a persuasive and interesting way.
Gild the lily
    If you gild the lily, you decorate something that is already ornate.
Gilded cage
    If someone is in a gilded cage, they are trapped and have restricted or no freedom, but have very comfortable surroundings- many famous people live in luxury but cannot walk out of their house alone.
Girl Friday
    A girl Friday is a female employee who assists someone without any specific duties.
Give a big hand
    Applaud by clapping hands. 'Let's give all the contestants a big hand.'
Give a dog a bad name
    A person who is generally known to have been guilty of some offence will always be suspected to be the author of all similar types of offence. Once someone has gained a bad reputation, it is very difficult to lose it.
Give and take
    Where there is give and take, people make concessions in order to get things they want in negotiations.
Give as good as you get
    If you give as good as you get, you are prepared to treat people as badly as they treat you and to fight for what you believe.
Give away the store
    (USA) If someone gives away the store, they say or do something that makes their position in negotiations, debates, etc, much weaker.
Give it some stick
    (UK) If you give something some stick, you put a lot of effort into it.
Give me a hand
    If someone gives you a hand, they help you.
Give me five
    If someone says this, they want to hit your open hand against theirs as a way of congratulation or greeting.
Give someone a leg up
    If you give someone a leg up, you help them to achieve something that they couldn't have done alone.
Give someone a piece of your mind
    If you give someone a piece of your mind, you criticize them strongly and angrily.
Give someone a run for their money
    If you can give someone a run for the money, you are as good, or nearly as good, as they are at something.
Give someone enough rope
    If you give someone enough rope, you give them the chance to get themselves into trouble or expose themselves. (The full form is 'give someone enough rope and they'll hang themselves)
Give someone stick
    (UK) If someone gives you stick, they criticize you or punish you.
Give someone the runaround
    If someone gives you the runaround, they make excuses and give you false explanations to avoid doing something.
Give the nod
    (UK) If you give the nod to something, you approve it or give permission to do it.
Give up the ghost
    People give up the ghost when they die.  Machines stop working when they give up the ghost.
Give your eye teeth
    If you really want something and would be prepared to sacrifice a lot to get it, you would give your eye teeth for it.
Given the day that's in it
    (Irish) This idiom is used when something is obvious because of the day that it occurs: traffic, for example would be busy around a football stadium on game day, given the day that's in it. On any other day the traffic would be unexplainable, but because its game day its obvious why there is traffic.
Glass ceiling
    The glass ceiling is the discrimination that prevents women and minorities from getting promoted to the highest levels of companies and organizations.
Glory hound
    A glory hound is a person seeking popularity, fame and glory.
Gloves are off
    When the gloves are off, people start to argue or fight in a more serious way. ('The gloves come off' and 'take the gloves off' are also used. It comes from boxing, where fighters normally wear gloves so that they don't do too much damage to each other.)
Glutton for punishment
    If a person is described as a glutton for punishment, the happily accept jobs and tasks that most people would try to get out of. A glutton is a person who eats a lot.
Gnaw your vitals
    If something gnaws your vitals, it troubles you greatly and affects you at a very deep level. ('Gnaw at your vitals' is also used.)
Go against the grain
    A person who does things in an unconventional manner, especially if their methods are not generally approved of, is said to go against the grain. Such an individual can be called a maverick.
Go awry
    If things go awry, they go wrong.
Go bananas
    If you go bananas, you are wild with excitement, anxiety, or worry.
Go blue
    If you go blue, you are very cold indeed. ('Turn blue' is an alternative form.)
Go bust
    If a company goes bust, it goes bankrupt.
Go by the board
    When something has gone by the board, it no longer exists or an opportunity has been lost.
Go by the boards
    If something goes by the boards, it fails to get approved or accepted.
Go down like a cup of cold sick
    (UK) An idea or excuse that will not be well accepted will go down like a cup of cold sick.
Go down like a lead balloon
    (UK) If something goes down like a lead balloon, it fails or is extremely badly received.
Go down swinging
    If you want to go down swinging, you know you will probably fail, but you refuse to give up.
Go down without a fight
    If someone goes down without a fight, they surrender without putting up any resistance.
Go Dutch
    If you go Dutch in a restaurant, you pay equal shares for the meal.
Go fly a kite
    (USA) This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
Go for broke
    If someone goes for broke, they risk everything they have for a potentially greater gain.
Go for the jugular
    If you go for the jugular, you attack someone where they are most vulnerable.
Go fry an egg
    (USA) This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
Go hand in hand
    If things go hand in hand, they are associated and go together.
Go nuts
    If someone goes nuts, they get excited over something.
Go off on a tangent
    If someone goes off on a tangent, they change the subject completely in the middle of a conversation or talk.
Go over like a lead balloon
    (USA) If something goes over like a lead balloon, it will not work well, or go over well.
Go overboard
    If you go overboard, you do something excessively.
Go pear-shaped
    If things have gone wrong, they have gone pear-shaped.
Go play in traffic
    This is used as a way of telling someone to go away.
Go round in circles
    If people are going round in circles, they keep discussing the same thing without reaching any agreement or coming to a conclusion.
Go south
    If things go south, they get worse or go wrong.
Go spare
    (UK) If you go spare, you lose your temper completely.
Go tell it to birds
    This is used when someone says something that is not credible or is a lie.
Go the distance
    If you go the distance, you continue until something ends, no matter how difficult.
Go the extra mile
    If someone is prepared to go the extra mile, they will do everything they can to help or to make something succeed, going beyond their duty what could be expected of them .
Go the whole hog
    If you go the whole hog, you do something completely or to its limits.
Go through the motions
    When you go through the motions, you do something like an everyday routine and without any feelings whatsoever.
Go to seed
    If someone has gone to seed, they have declined in quality or appearance.
Go to the wire
    If someone goes to the wire, they risk their life, job, reputation, etc, to help someone.
Go to your head
    If something goes to your head, it makes you feel vain.  If alcohol goes to your head, it makes you feel drunk quickly.
Go under the hammer
    If something goes under the hammer, it is sold in an auction.
Go west
    If something goes west, it goes wrong. If someone goes west, they die.
Go with the flow
    If you go with the flow, you accept things as they happen and do what everyone else wants to do.
Go-to guy
    A go-to guy is a person whose knowledge of something is considerable so everyone wants to go to him or her for information or results.
Going concern
    A successful and active business is a going concern.
Going Jesse
    (USA) If something is a going Jesse, it's a viable, successful project or enterprise.
Going overboard
    If you go overboard with something, then you take something too far, or do too much.
Golden handshake
    A golden handshake is a payment made to someone to get them to leave their job.
Golden rule
    The golden rule is the most essential or fundamental rule associated with something. Originally, it was not a general reference to an all purpose first rule applicable to many groups or protocols, but referred to a verse in the Bible about treating people they way you would want them to treat you, which was considered the First Rule of behavior towards all by all.
Golden touch
    Someone with a golden touch can make money from or be successful at anything they do.
Gone fishing
    If someone has gone fishing, they are not very aware of what is happening around them.
Gone for a burton
    (UK) If something's gone for a burton, it has been spoiled or ruined. If a person has gone for a burton, they are either in serious trouble or have died.
Gone pear-shaped
    (UK) If things have gone pear-shaped they have either gone wrong or produced an unexpected and unwanted result.
Gone to pot
    If something has gone to pot, it has gone wrong and doesn't work any more.
Gone to the dogs
    If something has gone to the dogs, it has gone badly wrong and lost all the good things it had.
Good antennae
    Someone with good antennae is good at detecting things.
Good as gold
    If children are as good as gold, they behave very well.
Good egg
    A person who can be relied on is a good egg. Bad egg is the opposite.
Good fences make good neighbors
    This means that it is better for people to mind their own business and to respect the privacy of others.  ('Good fences make good neighbors' is the American English spelling.)
Good hand
    If you are a good hand at something, you do it well.
Good Samaritan
    A good Samaritan is a person who helps others in need.
Good shape
    If something's in good shape, it's in good condition. If a person's in good shape, they are fit and healthy.
Good spell
    A spell can mean a fairly or relatively short period of time; you'll hear weather forecasts predict a dry spell. Sports commentators will say that a sportsperson is going through a good spell when they're performing consistently better than they normally do.
Good time
    If you make good time on a journey, you manage to travel faster than you expected.
Good to go
    Someone or something that meets one's approval. 'He is good to go.' 'The idea you had is good to go.'
Good walls make good neighbors
    Your relationship with your neighbors depends, among other things, on respecting one another's privacy.
Goody two-shoes
    A goody two-shoes is a self-righteous person who makes a great deal of their virtue.
Grab the bulls by its horns
    If you grab (take) the bull by its horns, you deal head-on and directly with a problem.
Grain of salt
    If you should take something with a grain of salt, you shouldn't necessarily believe it all. ('pinch of salt' is an alternative)
Grasp the nettle
    (UK) If you grasp the nettle, you deal bravely with a problem.
Grass may be greener on the other side but it's just as hard to mow
    'The grass may be greener on the other side but it's just as hard to mow' is an expression used to mean a person's desire to have that which another person has in the belief it will make their life easier is false as all situations come with their own set of problems.
Grass roots
    This idioms is often used in politics, where it refers to the ordinary people or voters. It can be used to mean people at the bottom of a hierarchy.
Grass widow
    A grass widow is a woman whose husband is often away on work, leaving her on her own.
Graveyard shift
    If you have to work very late at night, it is the graveyard shift.
Gravy train
    If someone is on the gravy train, they have found and easy way to make lots of money.
Grease monkey
    A grease monkey is an idiomatic term for a mechanic.
Grease someone's palm
    If you grease someone's palm, you bribe them to do something.
Grease the skids
    If you grease the skids, you facilitate something.
Greased lightning
    If something or someone moves like greased lightning, they move very fast indeed.
Great guns
    If something or someone is going great guns, they are doing very well.
Great Scott
    An exclamation of surprise.
Great unwashed
    This is a term used for the working class masses.
Great white hope
    Someone who is expected to be a great success is a great white hope.
Greek to me
    If you don't understand something, it's all Greek to you.
Green around the gills
    If someone looks green around the gills, they look ill.
Green fingers
    (UK) Someone with green fingers has a talent for gardening.
Green light
    If you are given the green light, you are given approval to do something.
Green thumb
    (USA) Someone with a talent for gardening has a green thumb.
Green with envy
    If you are green with envy, you are very jealous.
Green-eyed monster
    The green-eyed monster is an allegorical phrase for somebody's strong jealousy
Greenhorn
    A greenhorn or someone who is described simply as green lacks the relevant experience and knowledge for their job or task
Grey area
    A grey/gray area is one where there is no clear right or wrong.
Grey Cardinal
    Someone who is a Grey Cardinal exerts power behind the scenes, without drawing attention to himself or herself.
Grey cells
    'Grey cells' means 'brain' Eg: Use your grey cells to understand it
Grey matter
    Grey/gray matter is the human brain.
Grey pound
    (UK) In the UK, the grey pound is an idiom for the economic power of elderly people.
Grey suits
    The men in grey suits are people who have a lot of power in business or politics, but aren't well-known or charismatic.
Grin and bear it
    If you have to grin and bear it, you have to accept something that you don't like.
Grin like a Cheshire cat
    If someone has a very wide smile, they have a grin like a Cheshire cat.
Grinds my gear
    Something that is very annoying grinds your gear.
Grist for the mill
    Something that you can use to your advantage is grist for the mill. ('Grist to the mill' is also used.)
Guinea-pig
    If you are a guinea-pig, you take part in an experiment of some sort and are used in the testing.
Gunboat diplomacy
    If a nation conducts its diplomatic relations by threatening military action to get what it wants, it is using gunboat diplomacy.
Gung ho
    If someone is gung ho about something, they support it blindly and don't think about the consequences.
Hail-fellow-well-met
    Someone whose behavior is hearty, friendly and congenial.
Hair of the dog
    If someone has a hair of the dog, they have an alcoholic drink as a way of getting rid of a hangover, the unpleasant effects of having drunk too much alcohol the night before. It is commonly used as a way of excusing having a drink early on in the day.
Hairy at the heel
    (UK) Someone who is hairy at the heel is dangerous or untrustworthy.
Hale and hearty
    Someone who is hale and hearty is in very good health.
Half a loaf is better than no bread
    It means that getting part of what you want is better than getting nothing at all.
Half a mind
    If you have half a mind to do something, you haven't decided to do it, but are thinking seriously about doing it.
Half-baked
    A half-baked idea or scheme hasn't not been thought through or planned very well.
Hammer and tongs
    If people are going at it hammer and tongs, they are arguing fiercely. The idiom can also be used hen people are doing something energetically.
Hand in glove
    If people are hand in glove, they have an extremely close relationship.
Hand in hand
    Hand in hand= work together closely When people in a group, say in an office or in a project, work together with mutual understanding to achieve the target, we say they work hand in hand. There is no lack of co-operation and each synchronizes the activity with that of the other.
Hand that rocks the cradle
    Women have a great power and influence because they have the greatest influence over the development of children- the hand that rocks the cradle. ('The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' is the full form.)
Hand to mouth
    Someone who's living from hand to mouth, is very poor and needs the little money they have coming in to cover their expenses.
Hands down
    If someone is better hands down than everyone else, they are much better.
Handwriting like chicken scratch
    If your handwriting is very hard to read, it is like chicken scratch.
Hang by a thread
    If something hangs by a thread, there is a very small chance indeed of it being successful or surviving.
Hang in the balance
    If an outcome is hanging in the balance, there are at least two possibilities and it is impossible to predict which will win out.
Hang out to dry
    If you hang someone out to dry, you abandon them when they are in trouble.
Hangdog expression
    A hangdog expression is one where the person's showing their emotions very clearly, maybe a little too clearly for your liking. It's that mixture of misery and self-pity that is similar to a dog when it's trying to get something it wants but dare not take without permission.
Hanged for a sheep as a lamb
    This is an expression meaning that if you are going to get into trouble for doing something, then you ought to stop worrying and should try to get everything you can before you get caught.
Happy medium
    If you reach a happy medium, you are making a compromise; reaching a conclusion or decision.
Happy-go-lucky
    If someone is happy-go-lucky, they don't worry or plan and accept things as they happen.
Hard as nails
    A person who is as hard as nails is either physically tough or has little or no respect for other people's feelings.
Hard by
    "Hard by" means mean "close to" or "near".
Hard cheese
    (UK) Hard cheese means hard luck.
Hard of hearing
    Someone who's hard of hearing is a bit deaf.
Hard on someone's heels
    If you are hard on someone's heels, you are close to them and trying to catch or overtake them.  ('Hot on someone's heels' is also used.)
Hard sell
    If someone puts a lot of pressure on you to do or buy something, they are hard selling it.
Hard to come by
    If something is hard to come by, it is difficult to find.
Hard up
    If you are hard up, you have very little money.
Haste makes waste
    This idiom means that if you try to do something quickly, without planning it, you're likely to end up spending more time, money, etc, doing it.
Hat trick
    Three successes one after the other is a hat trick.
Hatchet job
    A piece of criticism that destroys someone's reputation is a hatchet job.
Have a ball
    If you have a ball, you have a great time, a lot of fun.
Have a bash
    If you have a bash at something, you try to do it, especially when there isn't much chance of success.
Have a blast
    It means "to have a lot of fun".
Have a crack
    If you have a crack at something, you try to do it. If someone is attempting to do something and they are unsuccessful, you might say, "Let me have a crack at it" suggesting that you might be successful at performing the task. ('Take a crack' is also used.)
Have a foot in both camps
    Someone who plays a part or who is involved in two different groups of people, opinions, ways of thinking or living, etc, has a foot in both camps.
Have a go
    If you have a go, you try to do something, often when you don't think you have much chance of succeeding.
Have a heart
    If someone has a heart, they are kind and sympathetic.  If you say, 'Have a heart' to someone, you are asking them to be understanding and sympathetic.
Have a ripper
    If you have a ripper of a time, you enjoy yourself.
Have a trick up your sleeve
    If you have a trick up your sleeve, you have a secret strategy to use when the time is right.
Have no truck with
    If you have no truck with something or someone, you refuse to get involved with it or them.
Have the floor
    If someone has the floor, it is their turn to speak at a meeting.
Have the guts
    Someone who has enough courage to do something has the guts to do it.
Have your cake and eat it too
    If someone wants to have their cake and eat it too, they want everything their way, especially when their wishes are contradictory.
Have your collar felt
    If someone has their collar felt, they are arrested.
Have your fill
    If you have had your fill, you are fed up of somebody or something.
Have your lunch handed to you
    If you have you lunch handed to you, you are outperformed and shown up by someone better.
Have your moments
    Someone who has his or her moments exhibits a positive behavior pattern on an occasional basis but not generally.
Have your tail up
    If someone has their tail up, they are optimistic and expect to be successful.
Have your work cut out
    If you have your work cut out, you are very busy indeed.
Having a gas
    If you're having a gas, you are having a laugh and enjoying yourself in company.
Hay is for horses
    This idiom is used as a way of telling children not to say the word 'hey' as in hey you or hey there.
He that travels far knows much
    People who travel widely have a wide knowledge.
He who hesitates is lost
    If one waits too long, the opportunity vanishes.
Head for the hills
    If people head for the hills, they run away from trouble.
Head is in the clouds
    If a person has their head in the clouds, they have unrealistic, impractical ideas.
Head is mince
    (Scot) When someone's thoughts are in a state of abject confusion, especially when facing a severe dilemma, their head is mince.
Head nor tail
    If you can't make head nor tail of something, you cannot understand it at all or make any sense of it.
Head on a spike
    If someone wants a head on a spike, they want to be able to destroy or really punish a person.
Head on the block
    If someone's head is on the block, they are going to be held responsible and suffer the consequences for something that has gone wrong.
Head over heels in love
    When someone falls passionately in love and is intoxicated by the feeling has fallen head over heels in love.
Head south
    If something head south, it begins to fail or start going bad.'The project proceeded well for the first two months, but then it headed south.'
Heads will roll
    If heads will roll, people will be punished or sacked for something that has gone wrong.
Headstrong
    A headstrong person is obstinate and does not take other people's advice readily.
Healthy as a horse
    If you're as healthy as a horse, you're very healthy.
Heap coals on someone's head
    To do something nice or kind to someone who has been nasty to you. If someone felt bad because they forgot to get you a Christmas gift, for you to buy them a specially nice gift is heaping coals on their head. ('Heap coals of fire' is also used.)
Hear a pin drop
    If there is complete silence in a room, you can hear a pin drop.
Hear on the grapevine
    To receive information indirectly through a series of third parties, similar to a rumor.
Heart in the right place
    If someone's heart is in the right place, they are good and kind, though they might not always appear to be so.
Heart in your boots
    If you're heart is in your boots, you are very unhappy.
Heart in your mouth
    If your heart is in your mouth, then you feel nervous or scared.
Heart isn't in it
    If your heart is not in something, then you don't really believe in it or support it.
Heart misses a beat
    If your heart misses a beat, you are suddenly shocked or surprised. ('Heart skips a beat' is an alternative)
Heart of glass
    When someone has a heart of glass, they are easily affected emotionally.
Heart of gold
    Someone with a heart of gold is a genuinely kind and caring person.
Heart of steel
    When someone has a heart of steel, they do not show emotion or are not affected emotionally.
Heart-to-heart
    A heart-to-heart is a frank and honest conversation with someone, where you talk honestly and plainly about issues, no matter how painful.
Heaven knows
    If you ask someone a question and they say this, they have no idea.
Heavenly bodies
    The heavenly bodies are the stars.
Heavy-handed
    If someone is heavy-handed, they are insensitive and use excessive force or authority when dealing with a problem.
Hedge your bets
    If you hedge your bets, you don't risk everything on one opportunity, but try more than one thing.
Hell for leather
    If you do something hell for leather, especially running, you do it as fast as you can.
Hell in a handcart
    If something is going to hell in a handcart, it is getting worse and worse, with no hope of stopping the decline.
Herding cats
    If you have to try to co-ordinate a very difficult situation, where people want to do very different things, you are herding cats.
Here today, gone tomorrow
    Money, happiness and other desirable things are often here today, gone tomorrow, which means that they don't last for very long.
Hide nor hair
    When there's no trace of something or a person, you haven't seen hide nor hair of it or them.('Neither hide nor hair' is also used.)
Hiding to nothing
    If people are on a hiding to nothing, their schemes and plans have no chance of succeeding. 'Hiding to nowhere' is an alternative.
High and dry
    If you are left high and dry, you are left alone and given no help at all when you need it.
High and low
    If you search high and low, you look everywhere for something or someone.
High and mighty
    The high and mighty are the people with authority and power. If a person is high and mighty, they behave in a superior and condescending way.
High as a kite
    If someone's as high as a kite, it means they have had too much to drink or are under the influence of drugs.
High on the hog
    To live in great comfort with lots of money.
High-handed
    If someone is high-handed, they behave arrogantly and pompously.
High-wire act
    A high-wire act is a dangerous or risky strategy, plan, task, etc.
Highway robbery
    Something that is ridiculously expensive, especially when you have no choice but to pay, is a highway robbery.
Himalayan blunder
    A Himalayan blunder is a very serious mistake or error.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty
    After something has gone wrong, it is easy to look back and make criticisms.
Hit a nerve
    If something hits a nerve, it upsets someone or causes them pain, often when it is something they are trying to hide.
Hit and miss
    Something that is hit and miss is unpredictable and may produce results or may fail.
Hit me with your best shot
    If someone tells you to hit them with your best shot, they are telling you that no matter what you do it won't hurt them or make a difference to them.
Hit rock bottom
    When someone hits rock bottom, they reach a point in life where things could not get any worse.
Hit rough weather
    If you hit rough weather, you experience difficulties or problems.
Hit the airwaves
    If someone hits the airwaves, they go on radio and TV to promote something or to tell their side of a story.
Hit the books
    If you hit the books, you study or read hard.
Hit the bull's-eye
    If someone hits the bull's-eye, they are exactly right about something or achieve the best result possible. "Bulls-eye" and "bulls eye" are alternative spellings.
Hit the ceiling
    If someone hits the ceiling, they lose their temper and become very angry.
Hit the Dirt
    To duck out of the way or fall to the ground to avoid something dangerous.
Hit the fan
    When it hits the fan, or, more rudely, the shit hits the fan, serious trouble starts.
Hit the ground running
    If someone hits the ground running, they start a new job or position in a very dynamic manner.
Hit the hay
    When you hit the hay, you go to bed.
Hit the mark
    If someone hits the mark, they are right about something.
Hit the nail on the head
    If someone hits the nail on the head, they are exactly right about something.
Hit the road
    When people hit the road, they leave a place to go somewhere else.
Hit the roof
    If you lose your temper and get very angry, you hit the roof.
Hit the sack
    When you hit the sack, you go to bed.
Hive of worker bees
    A hive of worker bees is a group of people working actively and cooperatively. Example: The classroom was a hive of worker bees.
Hobson's choice
    A Hobson's choice is something that appears to be a free choice, but is really no choice as there is no genuine alternative.
Hoist with your own petard
    If you are hoist with your own petard, you get into trouble or caught in a trap that you had set for someone else.
Hold all the aces
    If you hold all the aces, you have all the advantages and your opponents or rivals are in a weak position.
Hold the baby
    (UK) If someone is responsible for something, they are holding the baby.
Hold the bag
    (USA) If someone is responsible for something, they are holding the bag.
Hold the fort
    If you hold the fort, you look after something or assume someone's responsibilities while they are away.
Hold the torch
    If you hold the torch for someone, you have an unrequited or unspoken love.
Hold water
    When you say that something does or does not 'hold water', it means that the point of view or argument put forward is or is not sound, strong or logical. For e.g., 'Saying we should increase our interest rates because everyone else is doing so will not hold water'.
Hold your horses
    If someone tells you to hold your horses, you are doing something too fast and they would like you to slow down.
Hold your own
    If you can hold your own, you can compete or perform equally with other people.
Hold your tongue
    If you hold your tongue, you keep silent even though you want to speak.
Holier-than-thou
    Someone who is holier-than-thou believes that they are morally superior to other people.
Hollow leg
    Someone who has a hollow leg eats what seems to be more than his stomach can hold.
Hollow victory
    A hollow victory is where someone wins something in name, but are seen not to have gained anything by winning.
Holy smoke!
    This is a way of expressing surprise: "Holy smoke! Look at all of those geese!"
Home and hearth
    'Home and hearth' is an idiom evoking warmth and security.
Home is where you lay your hat
    Wherever you are comfortable and at ease with yourself is your home, regardless where you were born or brought up.('Home is where you lay your head'  and 'Home is where you hang your hat' are also used.)
Home stretch
    The home stretch is the last part of something, like a journey, race or project.
Home sweet home
    This is said when one is pleased to be back at one's own home.
Home, James
    (UK) This is a clichéd way of telling the driver of a vehicle to start driving. It is supposed to be an order to a chauffeur (a privately employed driver).  The full phrase is 'Home, James, and don't spare the horses'.
Honest truth
    If someone claims that something is the honest truth, they wish to sound extra-sincere about something.
Honor among thieves
    If someone says there is honor among thieves, this means that even corrupt or bad people sometimes have a sense of honor or integrity, or justice, even if it is skewed.  ('Honor among thieves' is the British English version.)
Honors are even
    If honors are even, then a competition has ended with neither side emerging as a winner.
Hook, line, and sinker
    If somebody accepts or believes something hook, line, and sinker, they accept it completely.
Hop, skip, and a jump
    If a place is a hop, skip, and a jump from somewhere, it's only a short distance away.
Hope against hope
    If you hope against hope, you hope for something even though there is little or no chance of your wish being fulfilled.
Hope in hell
    If something hasn't got a hope in hell, it stands absolutely no chance of succeeding.
Hornets' nest
    A hornets' nest is a violent situation or one with a lot of dispute. (If you create the problem, you 'stir up a hornets' nest'.)
Horns of a dilemma
    If you are on the horns of a dilemma, you are faced with two equally unpleasant options and have to choose one.
Horse of a different color
    (USA) If something is a horse of a different color, it's a different matter or separate issue altogether.
Horse trading
    Horse trading is an idiom used to describe negotiations, especially where these are difficult and involve a lot of compromise.
Horses for courses
    Horses for courses means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another.
Hostile takeover
    If a company is bought out when it does not want to be, it is known as a hostile takeover.
Hot air
    Language that is full of words but means little or nothing is hot air.
Hot as blue blazes
    If something's as hot as blue blazes, it's extremely hot.
Hot as Hades
    If something's as hot as Hades, it's extremely hot.
Hot button
    (USA) A hot button is a topic or issue that people feel very strongly about.
Hot foot
    If you hot foot it out of a place, you leave very quickly, often running.
Hot potato
    A problem or issue that is very controversial and no one wants to deal with is a hot potato.
Hot ticket
    (USA) A hot ticket is something that is very much in demand at the moment.
Hot to trot
    If someone is hot to trot, they are sexually aroused or eager to do something.
Hot under the collar
    If you're hot under the collar, you're feeling angry or bothered.
Hot water
    If you get into hot water, you get into trouble.
Hot-blooded
    Someone who is hot-blooded is easily excitable or passionate.
Hot-headed
    A hot-headed person gets angry very easily. (The noun 'hothead' can also be used.)
Hour of need
    A time when someone really needs something, almost a last chance, is their hour of need.
House of cards
    Something that is poorly thought out and can easily collapse or fail is a house of cards.
How come
    If you want to show disbelief or surprise about an action, you can ask a question using 'how come'. How come he got the job? (You can't believe that they gave the job to somebody like him)
How do you like them apples
    (USA) This idiomatic expression is used to express surprise or shock at something that has happened. It can also be used to boast about something you have done.
How long is a piece of string
    If someone has no idea of the answer to a question, they can ask 'How long is a piece of string?' as a way of indicating their ignorance.
How's tricks?
    This is used as a way of asking people how they are and how things have been going in their life.
Hue and cry
    Hue and cry is an expression that used to mean all the people who joined in chasing a criminal or villain. Nowadays, if you do something without hue and cry, you do it discreetly and without drawing attention.
Hung the moon
    If you refer to someone as having hung the moon, you think they are extremely wonderful, or amazing, or good.
Hungry as a bear
    If you are hungry as a bear, it means that you are really hungry.
Hunky Dory
    If something is hunky dory, it is perfectly satisfactory, fine.
I hereby give notice of my intention
    Hereby is used sometimes in formal, official declarations and statements to give greater force to the speaker' or the writer's affirmation. People will say it sometimes to emphasize their sincerity and correctness.
I may be daft, but I'm not stupid
    I might do or say silly things occasionally, but in this instance I know what I am doing (Usually used when someone questions your application of common-sense).
I should cocoa
    (UK) This idiom comes from 'I should think so', but is normally used sarcastically to mean the opposite.
I'll cross that road when I come to it
    I'll think about something just when it happens, not in advance.
I'll eat my hat
    You can say this when you are absolutely sure that you are right to let the other person know that there is no chance of your being wrong.
I've got a bone to pick with you
    If somebody says this, they mean that they have some complaint to make against the person they are addressing.
I've got your number
    You have made a mistake and I am going to call you on it. You are in trouble (a threat). I have a disagreement with you. I understand your true nature.
Icing on the cake
    This expression is used to refer to something good that happens on top of an already good thing or situation.
Idle hands are the devil's handiwork
    When someone is not busy, or being productive, trouble is bound to follow.
If at first you don't succeed try try again
    When you fail, try until you get it right!
If I had a nickel for every time
    (USA) When someone uses this expression, they mean that the specific thing happens a lot. It is an abbreviation of the statement 'If I had a nickel for every time that happened, I would be rich'
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
    Any attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it.
If Mohammed won't come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed
    If something cannot or will not happen the easy way, then sometimes it must be done the hard way.
If the cap fits, wear it
    This idiom means that if the description is correct, then it is describing the truth, often when someone is being criticized. ('If the shoe fits, wear it' is an alternative)
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
    This means that wishing for something or wanting it is not the same as getting or having it.
If you are given lemons make lemonade
    Always try and make the best out of a bad situation. With some ingenuity you can make a bad situation useful.
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
    Originally a Harry S. Truman quote, this means that if you can't take the pressure, then you should remove yourself from the situation.
If you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows
    If you wish to be associated with a particular high risk and/or high profile situation and benefit from the rewards of that association, you have to accept the consequences if things go wrong - you cannot dissociate yourself.
If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas
    This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences.
If you lie down with the Devil, you will wake up in hell
    This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences.
If you will
    'If you will' is used as a way of making a concession in a sentence: He wasn't a very honest person, a liar if you will. Here, it is used a way of accepting that the reader or listener might think of the person as a liar, but without commit the writer or speaker to that position fully.
If you'll pardon my French
    (UK) This idiom is used as a way of apologizing for swearing.
Ill at ease
    If someone is ill at ease, they are worried or uncomfortable.
Ill-gotten gains
    Ill-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly.
In a cleft stick
    If you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation, caught between choices.
In a fix
    If you are in a fix, you are in trouble.
In a flash
    If something happens in a flash, it happens very quickly indeed.
In a fog
    If you're in a fog, you are confused, dazed or unaware.
In a heartbeat
    If something happens very quickly or immediately, it happens in a heartbeat.
In a jam
    If you are in a jam, you are in some trouble.  If you get out of a jam, you avoid trouble.
In a jiffy
    If something happens in a jiffy, it happens very quickly.
In a nutshell
    This idiom is used to introduce a concise summary.
In a pickle
    If you are in a pickle, you are in some trouble or a mess.
In a rut
    In a settled or established pattern, habit or course of action, especially a boring one.
In a tick
    (UK) If someone will do something in a tick, they'll do it very soon or very quickly.
In a tight spot
    If you're in a tight spot, you're in a difficult situation.
In all honesty
    If you say something in all honesty, you are telling the complete truth. It can be used as a way of introducing a negative opinion whilst trying to be polite; in all honesty, I have to say that I wasn't very impressed.
In an instant
    If something happens in an instant, it happens very rapidly.
In another's shoes
    It is difficult to know what another person's life is really like, so we don't know what it is like to be in someone's shoes.
In apple-pie order
    If something is in apple-pie order, it is very neat and organized.
In broad daylight
    If a crime or problem happens in broad daylight, it happens during the day and should have been seen and stopped.
In cahoots
    If people are in cahoots, they are conspiring together.
In cold blood
    If something is done in cold blood, it is done ruthlessly, without any emotion.
In dire straits
    If you're in dire straits, you're in serious trouble or difficulties.
In donkey's years
    'I haven't seen her in donkey's years.' - This means for a very long time.
In dribs and drabs
    If people arrive in dribs and drabs, they come in small groups at irregular intervals, instead of all arriving at the same time.
In droves
    When things happen in droves, a lot happen at the same time or very quickly.
In for a penny, in for a pound
    If something is worth doing then it is a case of in for a penny, in for a pound, which means that when gambling or taking a chance, you might as well go the whole way and take all the risks, not just some.
In full swing
    If things are in full swing, they have been going for a sufficient period of time to be going well and very actively.
In high gear
    (USA) If something is in high gear, it is in a quick-paced mode. If someone is in high gear, they are feverishly on the fast track.
In high spirits
    If someone is in high spirits, they are in a very good mood or feeling confident about something.
In his cups
    If someone is in their cups, they are drunk.
In hot water
    If you are in hot water, you are in serious trouble.
In light of
    'In light of' is similar to 'due to'.
In like Flynn
    Refers to Errol Flynn's popularity with women in the 40's. His ability to attract women was well known throughout the world.  ('In like flint' is also used.)
In my bad books
    If you are in someone's bad books, they are angry with you. Likewise, if you are in their good books, they are pleased with you.
In my book
    This idiom means 'in my opinion'.
In my good books
    If someone is in your good books, you are pleased with or think highly of them at the moment.
In one ear and out the other
    If something goes in one ear and out the other, you forget it as soon as you've heard it because it was too complicated, boring etc.
In over your head
    If someone is in over their head, they are out of the depth in something they are involved in, and may end up in a mess.
In perfect form
    When something is as it ought to be. Or, when used cynically, it may refer to someone whose excesses are on display; a caricature.
In rude health
    (UK) If someone's in rude health, they are very healthy and look it.
In so many words
    This phrase may be used to mean 'approximately' or 'more or less'. I think it may have a sarcastic connotation in that the individual listening needed 'so many words' to get the point. It also may suggest the effort on the part of the speaker to explain an unpleasant truth or difficult concept.
In someone's pocket
    If a person is in someone's pocket, they are dependent, especially financially, on them.
In spades
    (UK) If you have something in spades, you have a lot of it.
In stitches
    If someone is in stitches, they are laughing uncontrollably.
In tandem
    If people do things in tandem, they do them at the same time.
In that vein
    If you do something in that (or this) vein, you do it in the same distinctive manner or style.
In the bag
    If something is in the bag, it is certain that you will get it or achieve it
In the ballpark
    This means that something is close to the adequate or required value.
In the black
    If your bank account is in credit, it is in the black.
In the cards
    If something is in the cards, it is bound to occur, it is going to happen, or it is inevitable.
In the catbird seat
    (USA) If someone is in the catbird seat, they are in an advantageous or superior position.
In the clear
    If someone is in the clear, they are no longer suspected of or charged with wrongdoing.
In the clink
    (UK) If someone is in the clink, they are in prison.
In the club
    (UK) If a woman's in the club, she's pregnant. 'In the pudding club' is an alternative form.
In the dock
    If someone is in the dock, they are on trial in court.
In the doghouse
    If someone is in the doghouse, they are in disgrace and very unpopular at the moment.
In the driver's seat
    If you are in the driver's seat, you are in charge of something or in control of a situation.
In the face of
    If people act in the face of something, they do it despite it or when threatened by it.
In the family way
    If a woman is in the family way, she is pregnant.
In the flesh
    If you meet or see someone in the flesh you actually meet or see them, rather than seeing them on TV or in other media.
In the gravy
    If you're in the gravy, you're rich and make money easily.
In the hole
    If someone is in the hole, they have a lot of problems, especially financial ones.
In the hot seat
    If someone's in the hot seat, they are the target for a lot of unwelcome criticism and examination.
In the know
    If you are in the know, you have access to all the information about something, which other people don't have.
In the lap of luxury
    People in the lap of luxury are very wealthy and have everything that money can buy.
In the long run
    This means 'over a long period of time', 'in the end' or 'in the final result'.
In the loop
    If you're in the loop, you are fully informed about what is happening in a certain area or activity.
In the lurch
    If you are left in the lurch, you are suddenly left in an embarrassing or tricky situation.
In the making
    When something is in the making, it means it is in the process of being made.
In the offing
    If something is in the offing, it is very likely to happen soon.
In the pink
    If you are in very good health, you are in the pink.
In the pipeline
    If something's in the pipeline, it hasn't arrived yet but its arrival is expected.
In the red
    If your bank account is overdrawn, it is in the red.
In the saddle
    If you're in the saddle, you are in control of a situation.
In the same boat
    If people are in the same boat, they are in the same predicament or trouble.
In the short run
    This refers to the immediate future.
In the soup
    If you're in the soup, you're in trouble.
In the swim
    If you are in the swim, you are up-to-date with and fully informed about something.
In the swing
    If things are in the swing, they are progressing well.
In the tall cotton
    A phrase that expresses good times or times of plenty and wealth as tall cotton means a good crop.
In the twinkling of an eye
    If something happens in the twinkling of an eye, it happens very quickly.
In the zone
    If you are in the zone, you are very focused on what you have to do.
In turn
    This means one after the other. Example: She spoke to each of the guests in turn.
In two minds
    If you are in two minds about something, you can't decide what to do.
In your blood
    A trait or liking that is deeply ingrained in someone's personality and unlikely to change is in their blood.  A similar idiom is 'in his DNA.'
In your element
    If you are in your element, you feel happy and relaxed because you are doing something that you like doing and are good at. "You should have seen her when they asked her to sing; she was in her element."
In your face
    If someone is in your face, they are direct and confrontational. (It is sometime written 'in you' face'colloquially)
In your sights
    If you have someone or something in your sights, they are your target to beat.
Indian file
    If people walk in Indian file, they walk in a line one behind the other.
Indian giver
    An Indian giver gives something, then tries to take it back.
Indian summer
    If there is a period of warmer weather in late autumn, it is an Indian summer.
Ins and outs
    If you know the ins and outs of something, you know all the details.
Into each life some rain must fall
    This means that bad or unfortunate things will happen to everyone at some time.
Into thin air
    If something vanishes or disappears without trace, it vanishes into thin air; no-one knows where it has gone.
Iron fist
    Someone who rules or controls something with an iron fist is in absolute control and tolerates no dissent. An iron fist in a velvet glove is used to describe someone who appears soft on the outside, but underneath is very hard. 'Mailed fist' is an alternative form.
Irons in the fire
    A person who has a few irons in the fire has a number of things working to their advantage at the same time.
Is Saul also among the prophets?
    It's a biblical idiom used when somebody known for something bad appears all of a sudden to be doing something very good.
It ain't over till the fat lady sings
    This idiom means that until something has officially finished, the result is uncertain.
It cost an arm and a leg
    If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive indeed.
It cost the earth
    If something costs the earth, it is very expensive indeed.
It never rains but it pours
    'It never rains but it pours' means that when things go wrong, they go very wrong.

 


 

 

Colloquialism

A colloquialism is an expression not used in formal speech or  writing. Colloquialisms are also referred to as colloquial language. Colloquialisms or colloquial language is considered to be characteristic of or only appropriate for casual, ordinary, familiar, or informal conversation rather than formal speech or writing. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier.

Some examples of informal colloquialisms can include words such as "y'all" or "gonna" or "wanna", phrases such as "ain't nothin'" and "graveyard dead", or sometimes even an entire idiomatic expression, such as "There's more than one way to skin a cat".

Colloquialisms are often used primarily within a limited geographical area. A common example given is the regional term used by people when describing a carbonated soft drink. In the Upper Midwestern United States, in common with Canada, it is commonly called "pop", while in other areas, notably the Northeastern and extreme Western United States, it is referred to as "soda". In the Southern United States, it is commonly called "Coke" regardless of brand. 

 


 

 

 

 

Cross-cultural communication

When dealing with cross cultural issues, in addition to the usual forces of influence we must be aware of, we need to keep in mind the use of colloquialisms, or idiomatic expression.   Idiomatic expression, just like comedy, usually do not translate well; in some cases, when an idiom is translated into another language, either its meaning is changed or it is meaningless, for example.

And just because you share a certain ethnicity with others, your message can be delivered effectively - right?  Not really.  When the message is comedy, context is key, as demonstrated by Chinese-born, bio-chemist turned comedian Joe Wong can attest to:  While Mr. Wong was invited to the Late Night Show with David Letterman in 2009,  the audience cracked up when he walk in and said "Hi everybody...So, I am Irish."  While Mr. Wong's humor makes an American audience laugh, in China, where he grew up, people do not not get it.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Links

Lies that can get you fired - One boss says she knows if a woman has lied about being sick by looking at her hands and feet. » Telltale sign

10 worst texting offenses   Text messaging makes modern life easier — until you're faced with these annoying habits.

Body Language - What we say, without even realizing it.

The Big Sell
Newer Web sites sell; older sites inform.
August 11, 2000 - WebBusiness


Is Big Brother a Big Bother?
New technology makes it easy to spy on employees. But would you rather have a compliant police state or a productive enterprise?
August 1, 2000 - Darwin


Information Seeking on the Web: An Integrated Model of Browsing and Searching
Research study that examined the different ways people use the web to search for information.
February 2000 - First Monday


Web Sight - Let Your Customers Lead
An interview with web strategist David Siegel.
April 2000 - Fast Company



Not Fair
A California court shoots down a website’s fair use defense.
January 31, 2000 - WebBusiness


The Future of War Lies with Information
A new way to fight wars?
December 1999 - IDG.net


A Second Look at the Cathedral and the Bazaar
A peer review paper on the theory, psychology and social aspects of the open source movement that also touches upon the impact the internet has  made in its development.
December 1999 - First Monday


Architecting Innovation
The key to the Net's extraordinary innovation is that it doesn't allow a term like 'allow.'
November 05, 1999  - Industry Standard


Charles Darwin in Cyberspace: Electronic Evolution and Technological Selection
White paper from California State University, Chico, circa 1995.


On the Internet Edge
Mark Stefik says the Net makes us more connected-and more conflicted.
November 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


Technology: Boon or bane to quality of life?
Coverage of a panel discussion featuring executives of leading IT companies and industry observers at Gartner Group's European Symposium/ITxpo 99.
November 1, 1999 - IDG News


Very Truly Yours
Personalization tools let your Web site be all things to all people-one person at a time.
November 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


Organizational Shift
Part of a series, Special News Report: Net Turns 30.
October 4, 1999 - InfoWorld Electric


No Free Lunch
This technology critic talks about the price we pay for progress.
October 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


Net Elections: A Special Report
Articles about the use of the Web to facilitate running election campaigns.
- Industry Standard


Decoding Death
In laboratories all over the globe, researchers are racing to unlock the secrets of genetic codes. In one, the Internet sets the pace.
September 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


Internet2 and Counting
Researchers are hard at work on the next version of the Internet. What they develop will have a huge impact on network applications and the way they are managed.
September 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


The Role of Technology in Teaching and Learning: Some experience from using the World Wide Web
How-to's in slide-show format.


Accessibility and Distribution of Information on the Web
A brief summary of research conducted by Steve Lawrence and Lee Giles on the size of the Web. A full report is to replace the summary.


The Price Is Right
Free-PC.com's computer giveaway is a hit, which ticks off privacy groups to no end.
June 15, 1999 - CIO Enterprise


John Hagel-Defend or Attack?
Power shifts. The age of the infomediary.
April 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


Spotlight: The Demographics of Who’s Online
The standard subject variables applied to who's online.
March 8, 1999   - The Industry Standard


Jakob Nielsen on Dinosaurs
Only the Web savvy survive.
February 1, 1999 - CIO WebBusiness


Sink or Swim: Internet Search Tools & Techniques
Guide that includes search engine search strategies.
January 25, 1999 - Okanagan University College


Why Telework?
For the love (of your employees) and the money (you'll save).
November 15, 1998 - CIO Enterprise



Beyond the Campus
In the wild West, state governments and corporate donations fuel a controversial effort to broker online courses.
September 1, 1998 - CIO WebBusiness


Culture Shock
At the world's great museums, guardians of the past are meeting the technology of the future.
June 1, 1998 - CIO WebBusiness


Bang for the Buck?
Online advertising holds great promise, but until the technology catches up with the hype, its payback will remain elusive.
May 15, 1998 - CIO Enterprise



In Code We Trust
Will digital signatures replace paper and pen signatures?
March 1, 1998 - CIO WebBusiness


Community Theater
These days corporations need to have more than just a presence on the web, they need to build a 'community'.
December 1, 1997 - CIO WebBusiness


For Love and Money
Mining Company's use of 'human search engines' to provide data for their content based hubs.
November 1, 1997 - CIO WebBusiness


Storms Brewing on the Internet Horizon
Interview with Bernardo Huberman , discusses human behavior and congestion on the internet.
October 13, 1997 - PC Week


Nurturing Neighborhood Nets
Providing free networks to poor communities might just help to foster real community.
October 1, 1997 - MIT's Technology Review


The Future is Now
Interview with 'forecaster' Paul Saffo on the future of the web.
October 1, 1997 - CIO WebBusiness


Is The Net Redefining our Identity?
Sociologist Sherry Turkle argues that online encounters are reshaping human relations.
June 15, 1997 - BusinessWeek


The Psychology of Cyberspace
A web site that explores the 'conceptual framework for understanding the various psychological components of cyberspace and how people react to and behave within it.'


Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine


Information Visualization Resources on the Web
Stanford University


Scientific Visualization Sites
Annotated bibliography of scientific visualization web sites compiled by the NAS (Numerical Aerospace Simulation) Facility at NASA Ames Research Center.

Mediated Communication

Pessimism, Cynicism Can Hurt Your Heart

Study: Negative Outlook Appears to Raise Risk of Heart Disease, Death

By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC

Aug. 10, 2009 -- Whether you believe the metaphorical glass is half full or half empty may not only affect how you see the world, it may also affect your heart.

New research suggests that having a positive attitude just might protect against heart disease and keep you alive.

 




References

BBC News (2006)

Krotz (2009).

 BlogHer, iVillage, and Compass Partners (2009)  2009 Women in Social Media Study by

RFN1 Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric (NEW YORK: Viking Penguin ( 1992).

 

 


 

 

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