El Blog de las academias Innova English School

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Bizarre is confused

For those of you who are not so well versed in the comic world…

There is a villain known as Bizarre (since the original is in English).

Say hi, Bizarre!


However, here comes the problem. He received this extravagant name because he’s supposed to be the bizarre opposite of Superman and dictionaries agree, as we can see: markedly  unusual   in   appearance,   style,   or   general   character   and   often  involving   incongruous   or   unexpected   elements;   outrageously   or  whimsically   strange;   odd.
Even in French, Bizarre is more or less happy with his name, since he is still weird and odd (not as much as in English, though).
And then, we have Bizarro in Spanish, where he suddenly becomes brave and splendid, and consequently, confused…
Bizarro has become one of those words, like eventualmente, that ends up being mistranslated into Spanish. It’s not so weird to hear these sorts of things:
¡Qué película tan bizarra! Qué situación más bizarra!
 And of course, Bizarre gets confused…
According to the RAE bizarro has the following entry:

(De it. bizzarro, iracundo).


1. adj. valiente (‖ esforzado).

2. adj. Generoso, lucido, espléndido.

So, imagine how bizarre it is for a situation or a movie to suddenly become brave :)


Be careful. Next time you misuse it, Bizarre will come back for you! (either bravely or weirdly)

Comparative marketing on smartphones

Before we start discussing ‘battery lives’ or ‘which brand’s phones last longer’, watch this video and have a good laugh. It is a video/advertisement made by Samsung that makes fun of Apple users being glued to power sockets in the airports.



Well, in general, smartphones with low battery lives aren’t newsflash anymore. You could solve this problem in many ways too, like using a portable charger or having a spare etc. But here are some ‘cost-free’ ways (suggested by our young English student Alvaro Garcia) to make your phone last longer:
1.Use your Smartphone until it has almost no battery (0/1%)
IMPORTANT!!: Never charge it when it still has 20% or more.
2.Charge your smartphone until it reaches 100%
IMPORTANT!!: If you stop in the middle of the charge.
Don’t re-charge it again right away. Wait till it is at 0% again.
 Keep the brightness to the minimum
 Close the apps that you are not using
 Charges faster on airplane mode

To pull someone’s leg


To pull someone’s leg

I remember a day, as I was a child, eating at home with my family… My dad told my younger (and only) sister something strange and then said: “c’mon, I’m just pulling your leg!”. So what did she do next? Well, she looked under the table because she didn’t feel any pulling. And we all laughed!! And here’s why (in case you don’t know this English idiom):

To pull someone’s leg = to tell someone something that is not true as a way of joking with the person, for example: Stop pulling my leg– you didn’t have lunch with Madonna!

(Definition of pull someone’s leg from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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The Do’s, the Don’t’s and the Oh God Please Don’t’s of Eating Sushi

Many people love sushi; but, are we eating it the same way as the Japanese? Should I eat the ginger with sushi and mix the wasabi with soya sauce? How about ketchup, can I use ketchup?


Well the purpose of the pink ginger is actually for ‘washing’ your mouth between different kinds of sushi so you can taste the different flavour of fish!


This website has a simple guide (with pictures) to show you the Do’s, the Don’t’s and the Oh God Please Don’t’s of Eating Sushi. Here’s the Link.




10 Adivinanzas para aprender inglés jugando

Las adivinanzas o riddles permiten pasar muy buenos momentos con los niños, quienes al esforzarse por hallar las respuestas estimulan su inteligencia y creatividad. Además, constituyen una divertida manera de aprender inglés jugando. Si queréis que los niños/as practiquen la pronunciación, incorporen vocabulario en inglés y se lo pasen genial  os facilitamos 10 adivinanzas en inglés. Disfrutarlas!


Adivinanza del fuego (fire)

You feed it, it lives,

you give it something to drink,

it dies.

Adivinanza del padre (father)

I am you uncle´s brother,

but I am not your uncle.

Adivinanza del pelo (hair)

It is on your head

and under your hat.

What is it?

Adivinanza del sol (sun)

It is round and yellow,

it is like a ball of fire,

it rises in the east,

it sets in the west.

What is it?

Adivinanza del huevo (egg)

A box without hinges, key or lid.

Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

Adivinanza del reloj (clock)

My hands are black,

My face is pale.

My head is hanging on a nail.

What am I?

Adivinanza del tiempo (time)

I can fly but I haven’t got wings.
What am I?

Adivinanza de la lluvia (rain)

I always come down,
But never go up.
What am I?

Adivinanza del dedo (finger)

Tall and thin,
Red within,
Nail on top,
And there it stops.
What is it?

Adivinanza de la conjunción y (and)

I am between mountain and valley.


Mas adivinanzas en nuestro board de Pinterest:



Why I wake up late every morning

Por qué me levanto tarde cada mañana
Y tú,
¿cuál es tu excusa?

Why I wake up late every morning
And what about you,
what is your excuse?

How to recognize a FAKE cardinal


Un falso obispo fue expulsado recientemente de la Santa Sede por intentar entrar en el Cónclave. Para evitar nuevos incidentes de este tipo, os presentamos amablemente…
¿Cómo reconocer a un cardenal FALSO?
# 8 No para de sacar fotos en el interior de la Capilla Sixtina
# 7 Está demasiado interesado en la Profecía de San Malaquías
# 6 Sigue preguntando para ver el Santo Grial
# 5 Describe los uniformes de los guardias suizos como “totalmente psicodélicos
# 4 Asiste a la votación vistiendo una camiseta comprada en la tienda de recuerdos
# 3 Votos varias veces para “Benedicto XVI”
# 2 Usa los hornos para cocinar su almuerzo
# 1 Aún no puede recordar las respuestas como el resto de obispos

A layman dressed in clerigal garb was recently kicked out of the Vatican for attempting to enter the Conclave. To prevent further such incidents, we helpfully present…
How to recognize a FAKE cardinal
#8 Won’t stop taking pictures inside the Sistine Chapel
#7 Way too interested in the Prophecy of St. Malachy
#6 Keeps asking to see the Holy Grail
#5 Describes the Swiss Guards’ uniforms as “totally trippy
#4 Shows up to vote wearing gag shirt from souvenir shop
#3 Votes multiple times for “Benedict XVI”
#2 Uses burning ballots to cook lunch
#1 Still can’t remember new mass responses