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"Flower & Plants Themed Idioms"

Post on: January 30, 2021

Idioms are great fun to toy with. They are a type of phrases which use figurative language whereby the words may not mean anything concerning the phrase. It’s a bizarre way to communicate — illogical and yet so effective! As students, it was common to add an idiomatic phrase into our composition to embellish it and to gain an additional mark or two.

Knowing the myth or origin behind the idiom helps us to decipher the rationale behind it. We say “break the ice” which means to make those who have not met before feel more relaxed with each other. The origin behind this idiom is interesting:

This took place during the days when ships were the mode of transportation for international trade. During winter, sometimes the ships got stuck due to ice formation. The receiving country would send smaller ships to “break the ice”. Hence, making it passable for the bigger ship to resume its journey. This gesture showed understanding and good relations between the two sides. Hence, ‘break the ice’ was aptly used in this context.

      1. Can’t see the wood for the trees –

If someone can’t see the wood for the trees, they are concerned with the details of something that they can’t see the situation as a whole. Hence, ignoring what is important.

  1. Barking up the wrong tree –

A person who is barking up the wrong tree is taking a wrong direction in an activity. Their beliefs and ideas are incorrect. (Sam was barking up the wrong tree when he applied for the city’s top colleges with his mediocre grades).

  1. Thorn in your side –

If you say that someone is a thorn in your side, they continually irritate or annoy you. (The disgruntled insurance agent has become a thorn in the side of the company ever since giving interviews that the company takes a substantial percentage of overriding commission in selling the investment product to unsuspecting clients).

  1. Grasp at straws –

If you are in a desperate situation and you try any method, even if it has little chance of success. You are making a frantic attempt at saving yourself. (To cure himself of the terminal illness, he turned to a faith healer, knowing that he was grasping at straws).

  1. Root and branch –

We can say that an action is executed “root and branch” if it is performed thoroughly or completely. (The anti-social behaviour of the students must be eliminated root and branch).

  1. Green fingers –

This expression is used to describe someone who is a highly-skilled gardener.

  1. Make hay while the sun shines –

This phrase means to take advantage of favourable conditions; to make the most of an opportunity when it is available. (As the duration of being a successful footballer is short, Raymond was advised to make hay while the sun shines).

  1. Old chestnut—

It means a subject, idea, or joke that has been discussed or repeated so often that it is no longer funny – it has lost its novelty. (Uncle Dave’s narration about his exploits while being employed as a sailor has become an old chestnut).

  1. Hit the hay –

When you hit the hay (or hit the sack), it means you go to bed. (I have a hectic day tomorrow, so I better hit the hay).

  1. Nip (something) in the bud —

It means you stop an unacceptable condition or problem immediately so that it does not worsen the situation. (The juvenile delinquents will end up in prison unless their parents nip their inappropriate behaviour in the bud).

Was the refresher of idioms a walk in the park? Jolly Good Times hopes these phrases come in handy in your everyday usage. If it’s worth knowing, it has to be shared — invite your kakis (buddies) to Like us on our Facebook and Website.

By: Shaji Thomas Varughese

#JollyGoodTimes #Flower&PlantsThemedIdioms #ShajiThomasVarughese


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