Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Talking to Kate, I realized she was a pain in the neck because she was only speaking about politics. (to be annoying)

We're organizing a hen party for Luiza this weekend. She'll love it!
(a party for women, happening only before getting married)

Mary is not a trustworthy person, she always lets the cat out of the bag. (reveal a secret)

Could you give me a hand? I can't use this computer. (help)

I had the answer to that question as it was on the tip of my tongue. (I knew the answer for sure)

I have butterflies in my stomach. (I am very nervous)

When my mother saw what I had been doing, I got egg on my face. (to be made to look stupid)

The show was so crowded that people were shoulder to shoulder from the beginning to the end! (in close proximity; side by side)

John said he was about to get on stage, so I said to him: "Break a leg!" (good luck)

You cannot hand that report to your boss. It is a dog's dinner. (messy, not properly done)

The main step is to be young at heart. ( still feel young)


The lion's share - The biggest part of something.

My lips are sealed - Something you say to let someone know that you will not tell anyone else what they have just told you.

Back the wrong horse - To support a person or thing that fails.
Ex: It was only after we'd invested all the money that we discovered we'd been backing the wrong horse.

Be pleased to see the back - To be pleased when someone leaves or when something ends because you did not like them.
Ex: She was an absolute pain when she stayed at us and we were both really pleased to see the back of her.

Be as busy as a bee - To be very busy or very active.

A slap on the wrist - A warning or punisment that is not severe.

Cost an arm and a leg - To be very expensive.
Ex: These opera tickets costs us an arm and a leg.

Pay through the nose - To pay too much for something.
Ex: If you want a decent wine, you have to pay through the nose for it.

Keep the wolf from the door - To have enough money to be able to eat and live.
Ex: Forty percent of the country's population receive part-time wages that barely keep the wolf from the door.

Fight like cat and dog - to argue violently all the time .

When pigs flies - something that you say which means you think there is no chance at all of something happening .

Keep someone's head - Remain calm, in control.

Your heart bleeds - if your heart bleeds for someone who is in trouble, you feel sadness and sympathy for them.
Ex: My heart bleeds for the poor children caught up in the fighting.

A bird-brain - a stupid person.
Ex: He's just a bird-brain - he can't get anything right.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Idioms with animals

Have ants in your pants
- to not be able to keep still because you are very excited or worried about something:
She's got ants on her pants because she's going to a party tonight.

Be busy as a bee- be very busy or very active.
She's as busy as a bee,always going to meeting and organizing parties.

Have butterflies (in stomach)- to feel very nervous,ussually about sometinhg you are going to do.
She has butterflies in her stomach as she walked out onto the stage.

Monkey see, monkey do- silly or unintelligent people tend to copy each other's actions.
Our one-year-old is saying bad words now. I told my husband, "Monkey see, monkey do!"

Monday, 9 November 2009


He said he'd never marry, but he had a change of heart when he met her.(He changed his mind how he felt about it)

In the blink of an eye, he was gone!(extremely quickly)

His parents footed the bill for his course's fees.(to pay an amount of money for sth)

From the top of my head, all I can think of is my next holiday.(the first thing that comes to one's head)

I have a gut feeling this is going nowhere.(I can sense it)

She asked me how I was with a twinkle in her eye.(having a cheerful expression)

Phillipe had decided to stay on as a student, but now he has other/bigger fish to fry.(to have sth else better or more important to do)

I am in the doghouse - I broke Sara's favourite vase this morning.( someone is annoyed with you and shows their disapproval)

Never look a gift horse in the mouth! (be ungrateful for what you are given)

I've been working like a dog. (to work a lot)

Now that the relationship is over, he is as free as a bird.(to be absolutely free)

I think I will wait in here till the cows come home.(for a long time)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Idioms with animals

dog days – the hottest days of the year. The dog days of the summer have arrived.

an old bat an unpleasant old woman. She's an old bat!

as busy as a bee If you are as busy as a bee, you are very busy indeed.

like a fish out of water If you are placed in a situation that is completely new to you and confuses you, you are like a fish out of water. On my first day at that s chool, I felt like a fish out of water.


She got so embarrassed when she noticed tah she had let the cat out fo the bag .(To say or tell something that you were not supposed to.)


As John hurt her feelings, Kelly's giving him the cold shoulder.(She is ignoring him.)

His youngest son was the apple of his eye.(The person who someone loves most and is very proud of.)

My stepfather and I, we just don't see eye to eye.(We don't agree.)

They are set to meet head to head in next week's final.(When two groups of people face each other directly to decide the result of a disagreement or competition.)

Waiting in line is a pain in the neck. (Somebody or something that bugs you, annoys or bothers you.)

Regarding the students' results, the weight is all on my shoulders.( To have full responsibility for something.)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

False Friends

Actual (not "atual" which means current; present) - to really exist.

Ingenious (not "ingênuo" which means naive) - good at solving problems, inventive, creative.

Recipient (not "recipiente" which means container) - a person who receives something.
E.g.: This latest cut in government spending will affect income support recipients and their families.

Push (not "puxar" which means pull) - to press upon or against (a thing) with force in order to move it away.

Resume (not "resumir" which means summarize) - an activity resumes when it starts again after a pause.
E.g.: Normal services will be resumed in the spring.

Improve (not "improvisar" which means improvise) - to make something better.

Misery (not "miséria" which means poverty) - great unhappiness.

Intimacy (not "intimação" which means subpoena) - a close friendship or sexual relationship with someone.

Fake (not "faca" which means knife) - not genuine.

Pasta (not "pasta" which means briefcase) - food made from flour, eggs and water, hard when dry and soft when cooked.

Lend (not "lenda" which means legend) - to give something to somebody or allow somebody to use something temporarily.

Legend (not "legenda", which means subtitle) - a story from the past that may or may not be true.

Comprehensive (not "compreensivo" which means understanding) - that includes everything or nearly everything.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

False Friends

pretend (not "pretender", which means to intend) - to behave as if something is true when in fact you know it isn't, in order to deceive people or for fun; E.g.: Let's pretend we are on the moon.

sensible (not "sensível", which means sensitive) - reasonable, practical, and showing good judgment; E.g.: Moving house seemed like the sensible thing to do.

(not "atualmente", which means currently) - in fact or in truth;

comprehensive (not "compreensivo", which means understanding) - covering completely or broadly;

genial (not "genial", which means brilliant; terrific;) - favorable to growth or comfort; E.g.: The sunshine today is genial.

disillusion (not "desilusão", which means disillusionment) - (verb) to free from illusion;

compromise (not "compromisso", which means commitment; appointment;) - an agreement in an argument in which the people involved reduce their demands or change their opinion in order to agree;

gratuity (not the quality of being free of charge) - tip, an amount of money given to someone;

propaganda (not advertisement) - false information spread in order to influence people's opinions;

relapse (not "relapso") - "recaída, recidiva, de volta a tempos ruins".

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

False Cognates

Moisture: not "mistura"(mixture). It means wetness, humidity - the state of being damp.

Motel: not "motel". It means a roadside hotel for drivers, usually having direct access from each room or chalet to a parking space.

Procurement; not "procuração" (power of attorney; proxy). It means the process of buying supplies or equipment for a government department or company.

Amass: not "amassar" ( to dent). It means to collect a lot of sth such as money or information over a period of time.

Casualty: not "casualidade" ( by chance/accident). It means victim.

Bulls and Bears: not "touros e ursos" . In the Financial world it means the optmistics and the pessimistics.

Bar: (Legal) not "bar". The profession of being a Barrister (a lawyer who has the right to speak in a higher court of law)

Deception: not "decepção" (disappointment); used when people hide the truth, especially to get an advantage.

Retribution; not "retribuição" (reward, acknowledgement, gratitude); deserved and severe punishment.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Idioms ( or idiomatic expressions) are typical of the natural way in which someone speaks or writes.
Check out the idioms below which contain either parts of the body or animals.

Why don´t you have a heart to heart with him and sort out your problems? ( have an honest conversation).
I'm pleased that you got the prize in the poetry competition, but don't let it go to your head. (don´t be too proud).
We had a whale of a time at the party last night. ( we had great fun).
I quite enjoy walking in the hill, but rock-climbing is a whole different kettle of fish. ( a completely different thing).

What other idioms can you think of with parts of the body or animals ?