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El Blog de las academias Innova English School

Expressions with Bear, Lion and Monkey

A BEAR OF A  (difficult, unpleasant) problem, dilemma, winter

  • He travelled and left me with a bear of a difficult problem, to pay all his bills.

A BEAR GARDEN

(a dirty and loud place)

  • It used to be a nice public square, but it became a bear garden.

A BEAR HUG

(a strong and warm hug)

  • He was so glad to see me after so many years that he gave me a bear hug.

A BEAR MARKET

(when the stock prices are on the low side)

  • He profited a lot when he bought shares at the bear market.

    AS HUNGRY AS A BEAR

    (famished, very hungry)

    • He is an athlete and always as hungry as a bear.

    LIKE A BEAR WITH A SORE HEAD

    (to be in a bad humour, grumpy)

    • Don’t go to see the boss now, he is like a bear with a sore head.

    THE LION’S SHARE

     (The best part)

    • They were five heirs, but John got the lion’s share.

    LION-HEARTED

    (to be quite courageous)

    • He is lion-hearted and volunteered to go to war.

    A LION IN THE WAY; A LION IN THE PATH

    (an imaginary danger or difficulty)

    • Mary sees a lion in the way, because she is a very pessimistic person.

      TO PUT ONE’S HEAD IN THE LION’S MOUTH

      (to expose oneself to danger in a reckless manner)

      • Hiding the thief you are putting your head in the lion’s mouth.

      TO THROW SOMEONE TO THE LIONS

       (to leave someone in a vulnerable situation)

      • John knew of the danger, but threw his friend to the lions.

      TO TWIST THE LION’S TAIL 

      (to badmouth the UK)

      • Never twist the lion’s tail if you want to be her friend.

        MONKEY-BUSINESS
        (dodgy or dishonest business)

        • He is not a reliable person, he is always involved in some monkey business.

        TO PLAY MONKEY TRICKS ON SOMEONE
        (to play pranks on someone)

        School children like to play monkey tricks on their teachers

        MONKEY NUT
        (peanut)

        • Don’t forget to buy monkey nuts for the cocktail party.

        TO GET ONE’S MONKEY UP
        (to get angry)

        • He got my monkey up with his silly behavior.

        HAVE A MONKEY ON ONE’S BACK
        (to be dependent on illicit drugs)

        • Her youngest son has a monkey on his back.

        TO MAKE A MONKEY OF SOMEONE
        (to mock someone)

        • She mimicked his gait and made a monkey of him.

        TO MONKEY AROUND
        (to be idle, to horse around, to do nothing, to loiter)

        • He is so lazy, all he does is to monkey around.

Curious Expressions in English

The English language is full of interesting expressions and words. Take a look at the following  examples:

Dressed to the nines

Some think this refers to the 99th Regiment of Foot, whose uniforms were notably splendid, but the expression predates the British army. In Old English, the plural of “eye” was “eyne” and it is believed that “dressed to the nines” was once actually “dressed to the eyne” – in other words, making oneself look as pleasing as possible to the beholder.

Eavesdropping

It used to be believed that to hear private conversations going on inside a house, you should press yourself against the wall, just under the eaves of the roof. If anyone saw you, you could pretend you were just “dropping in” to visit.

Jaywalking

In US cities in the late 19th century, it became customary to refer to out-of-towners as “jays”, after the bird of the same name that was commonly seen in rural areas. When motor vehicles first appeared, city dwellers soon learned caution when crossing the street. Their country cousins were less circumspect, so “jaywalking” came to mean wandering carelessly – and in the USA illegally – through traffic.

Nickname

This comes from the old word eke, which meant “also”. If a person had an additional name, it was called an “eke name”. Over time, this gradually became a “neke name” and then eventually a nickname.

Posh

For many years it was believed that “posh” was an abbreviation for “port out, starboard home” – the preference of wealthy passengers on the voyage to India, as it meant a cooler cabin. This explanation is now discredited in favour of an older word poosh, sometimes spelled “push”, which meant smart and dandified. PG Wodehouse uses it in an early story from Tales of St Austin’s (1903) when a character describes a bright waistcoat as “quite the most push thing at Cambridge”.

Red carpet

Between New York and Chicago, there used to run a luxury train known as the 20th Century Limited. It was first-class only and from 1938, its wealthy passengers could walk the entire length of their departure platform on crimson carpeting. VIPs everywhere soon grew to expect the same treatment.

‘Give the benefit of the doubt’

 

There are a lot of idioms in English originated from different English speaking countries all over the world and there seems to be an infinite list. No honestly! Even native speakers are constantly learning new ones all the time. Just because you have never heard of it or use it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

 

Idioms make a language more interesting and melodic. It turns simple words into a story and delivers a new message. Take ‘give the benefit of the doubt’ for example, at pre-intermediate level, these vocabularies shouldn’t be difficult and most students would understand what each word means. But when they are put together, it means: to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either (by The Free Dictionary, see citation below)

 

See the idiom in an example: People tell me I shouldn’t trust him, but I’m willing to give Simon the benefit of the doubt and wait and see what he actually offers.

(Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms)

 

Here’s a rough translation to Spanish: concederle a alguien el beneficio de la duda

The best way to learn idioms is to watch movies and series because while you might not know the exact meaning behind the phrase, the story often gives it away and you can guess what it means! Keep a list of new vocabularies with you and after the film, google it or ask a teacher.

 

Who said having a movie marathon or watching an entire season of The Walking Dead was a waste of time?

 

Citation:

give the benefit of the doubt. (n.d.) Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. (2006).

Idioms from the Heart

Expresiones desde el corazón
¡Feliz Día de San Valentín! Hoy es 14 de Febrero, día de los enamorados, ocasión para demostrar amor y cariño a vuestros seres queridos. Desde Binaurality os proponemos un regalo muy original, ¿por qué no escribís la postal o una dedicatoria en inglés? Os ayudaremos con estas expresiones sacadas directamente del “corazón”.

Idioms from the Heart
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is February 14th, Valentine’s Day, an occasion to show love and affection to your loved ones. From Binaurality we propose a very original gift, why don’t you write a postcard or a dedication in English? We’ll help you with these expressions straight from the “heart.”

Read More

Frases y expresiones coloquiales

Cuando nos enseñan inglés, los profesores siempre tienden a centrarse en la gramática y en el vocabulario mínimo que hay que saber para poder mantener una conversación con alguien, pero… ¿cómo le decimos a alguien que corte el rollo, o que no nos importa ni un pimiento lo que nos está diciendo o, ¡Venga ya! Cuando no nos creemos lo que nos están contando?

A continuación, os dejamos un enlace con muchas expresiones de este tipo…

Nosotros nos hemos quedado con “Goggle box”, ¿queréis saber lo que significa? Pues sólo tenéis que clickear en el siguiente enlace.

http://www.bcfint.com/expresiones_mas_utilizadas.html

Y, para todos aquellos que están pensando en irse a Estados Unidos este verano, os dejamos otro enlace con expresiones coloquiales en inglés americano. Por ejemplo, ¿sabíais que “ace” es lo mismo que “very good”? Entrad en el siguiente enlace y descubriréis muchas más palabras.

http://www.manythings.org/slang/slang1.html

¿Qué expresiones os han gustado o sorprendido más? Esperamos vuestros comentarios.