5 Common Idioms

5 Common Idioms

Idioms are phrases that English speakers use in everyday conversation, but don’t always make sense if they are pulled apart, word by word. Here are some common idioms to add to your conversational vocabulary. 

1.    John Hancock 

This English idiom refers to when someone needs to sign their name on an important document. This name comes from American History. John Hancock was one of the founding fathers of America who helped write the Declaration of Independence and was the first to sign it as well. 

For example: Please put your John Hancock on this form and the car will be all yours! 

2.    The whole nine yards 

When we say the phrase, “the whole nine yards,” it means they would like everything possible or available. There are many different stories of where this word comes from, but most historians believe that it started as a sports reference and grew from there. 

For example: We want to go the whole nine yards for this event. 

3.    Heads-up 

This English idiom is used when we would like to give someone a warning about something. 

For example: I just wanted to give you a heads-up that he is coming today to check your work. 

4.    Brownie Points 

This English idiom refers to an imaginary award given to someone who does good deeds or tries to please. We use this phrase a lot in the educational or corporate field. Brownies are a common American dessert and can be used as an award. 

For example: I need to gain some extra brownie points to impress my boss. 

5.    Put Lipstick on a Pig 

This English idiom has to be one of the weirdest idioms in our language and is a very common one. This refers to trying to make something pretty, but can’t be done because the product or thing is no good. 

For example: You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

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Published on May 5, 2022

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