Getting up on the wrong side of the bed

This is an expression you might say to someone in the morning if that person is grumpy or in a bad mood.  However, they might not appreciate your comment if they are in an exceptionally bad mood, so beware!

Here’s a sample short dialog: 

Cathy – I hate today.  I spilled coffee all over my shoes and I just want to go home.

Penny – Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? 

Cathy – Yeah, that about sums it up.

House Idioms

I think it’s easier to remember vocabulary words and idioms when they are grouped together with something in common. Here are some idioms with the word house or home in them.

bring the house down – to receive a lot of praise and applause
The Jonas Brothers brought the house down when they sang the American National Anthem.

on the house – something free and paid for by the bar or restaurant.
She flirted with the bartender and got a few drinks on the house.

make yourself at home – to treat the place you’re at like your own home.
“I’m so glad you came to visit me today. Come in, sit on the couch and make yourself at home,” Betty said.

in the doghouse – to be in trouble.
Jim forgot his wife’s birthday, so he’s in the doghouse now.

hit a little too close to home – There is something that you heard or saw that you could really relate to.
I saw an old lady having difficulty breathing, it hit a little too close to home for me.

eat someone out of house and home – To eat a lot of food – pig out.
My son has been eating so much lately, he is going to eat me out of house and home.

nut house – a mental institution.
I think Gloria is insane, she belongs in a nut house.

Feeling Idioms

I was thinking about what to write on my blog today and a friend on twitter asked me about the expression “mixed feelings” so I thought I’d write about that and some other idioms that use the word “feeling” in them.

mixed feelings – This is when you think both good and bad things about something particular. (“mixed emotions” is the same)
I have mixed feelings about moving away from my parents. On one hand I get to be free, but on the other hand I have to pay my own rent.

sinking feeling – This is when you have a bad feeling about something that may happen. You feel it at the pit of your stomach.
Fred had a sinking feeling his marriage was going to end, after his wife found the lipstick on his shirt collar.

no hard feelings – To not have anger towards someone.
I know we had a fight yesterday, but no hard feelings, right?

gut feeling – a personal feeling you have about someone or something.
I have a gut feeling that something bad is going to happen today.

Happy Idioms

Being happy is a great way to live! Today, I thought I’d write about a few idioms that have the word ‘happy’ in them. I hope they will be useful to you!

happy hour – This usually starts at 5pm during the work week. This is when friends get together after work and have a few drinks at a local bar. Bars usually have drink specials (drinks that cost less than normal)during happy hour.
Let’s get together tonight at Finn’s for happy hour.

happy camper – This is a happy person.
I’m a happy camper today; everything is going my way!

fat and happy – Content because you just ate a lot of good food.
I just went to an all you can eat Chinese buffet; I’m fat and happy.

a few fries short of a happy meal– A happy meal is a kid’s meal at McDonald’s. But, what this really means is that the person is not very smart.
My new neighbor is really bizarre and walks around her yard naked. I think she’s a few fries short of a happy meal.

happy as a lark – When someone is very happy and content.
Bill proposed to Sally yesterday. She’s as happy as a lark.

Money Idioms

Some people think that the world revolves around money, while others feel that money doesn’t buy happiness. Either way, it’s nice to know some Money related idioms and expressions to use in your English.

Nest egg – Money you have saved to use later.
I have a nest egg of over 1 million dollars for my retirement. (Oh, I wish!!!)

Cheapskate – A stingy person who is not not willing to spend money.
When I was younger I went out on a date with a cheapskate. I had to pay for the entire date myself!

To Bring home the bacon – To earn a living
I work at night, so I can bring home the bacon!

Deadbeat – a person who doesn’t pay the money that he owes
He’s a deadbeat father; he never pays his child support.

Flat broke – to have no money
I’m flat broke. I’m sorry I can’t give you the money I owe you.

To have sticky fingers – to steal things
My new friend has sticky fingers, she walked right out of my house with my gold necklace.

In the red – to be losing money
That company has been in the red for months. I’m sure they will go bankrupt any day now.

To pay an arm and a leg – to pay a lot of money for something
She paid an arm and a leg for her new diamond necklace.

Number Idioms

I just love using idioms! They sometimes sum things up without you having to say much! Here are some of my favorite idioms that have numbers in them.

back to square 1 – This means you have to start something all over again.
Oh man, I dropped the sauce on the floor, it’s back to square 1 for me.

better half – This means your husband or your wife, if you are married.
Brian, my husband, is my better half.

catch 22 – This is when a situation has 2 possible choices, but both outcomes might be negative.
If I stay here and play with my kids, I’ll get no work done. However, if I don’t play with them they’ll be mad at me. It’s a catch-22.

to feel like a million dollars – It means you feel very well and are doing great.
She had a great sleep last night and woke up feeling like a million dollars.

lesser of 2 evils – When 2 things are both bad, but one is not as bad as the other.
Well, I guess I’ll vote for the lesser of 2 evils.

opportunity only knocks once – This means that you only have 1 time to take advantage of something that is offered (maybe a job) because you may not get that particular opportunity again.
Speaker A – I got a job in the Peace Corp.
Speaker B – Cool, are you going to take it?
Speaker A – I don’t know.
Speaker B – You know opportunity only knocks once.

put 2 and 2 together – This means you can figure something out by putting the pieces together.
Dorthy saw the lipstick on his shirt collar and smelled perfume on his shirt that wasn’t hers. She put 2 and 2 together and realized he was having an affair.

6 of 1 and half a dozen of another – You can use this when there are 2 options or things, but there are not any big differences between the two.
Speaker A – I don’t know if I should call her a stewardess or a flight attendant.
Speaker B – It’s 6 of 1 and half a dozen of another.

3rd degree – When someone asks you very intimidating questions and they really try to make you confess to something.
Wow, I think that cop thought I committed a crime, he was giving me the 3rd degree.

Outer Space Idioms

For some reason I kept thinking about outer space today. So, I thought I’d write out a few of my favorite space related idioms and expressions in English:

Out of this world – Something that is exceptional
Wow, your cooking is out of this world!

Reach for the stars – Work towards a goal
If you reach for the stars, all of your dreams will come true!

Moon – to pull down your pants (and underwear) and show someone your backside
I dare you to moon those people over there. (Please don’t, it’s just an example. :))

Moonshine – illegal homemade whisky
Are you making moonshine in your garage?

Are you from Mars? – This is really asking someone if they are crazy or why are they different (like a Martian).
You’re wearing that outfit? You must be from Mars.

Sunshine – a cute, affectionate name for a friend or loved one
Good morning Sunshine. How are you? (Sunshine is not the light outside, but the person in front of you.)

Sunny – an adjective to describe someone who is cheerful and happy
You sure are sunny today, something good must’ve happened to you.

I’m pooped – ways to say I’m Tired in English

It’s important to expand you vocabulary and learn new ways to say thing same thing. Instead of saying, “I’m tired” all of the time when you feel tired try:

I’m beat.
I’m exhausted.
I’m pooped.
I’m worn out.
I’m done.
I’m sleepy.
I’m spent.
I’m flat out tired.
I’m dead on my feet.
I’m running on empty.
I’m running on fumes.
I’m fatigued.
I’m tired out.
I’m weary.
I’m dog tired.
I’m tired to the bone.
I’m knackered.
I’m dragging.

Spring is in the air!

“Spring is in the air!” is an expression that means you can tell Spring has arrived (or is coming soon). The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the grass is growing!

Another Springtime expression is “April showers, bring May flowers.” This has always made me giggle because it applies to the Northern part of the US. In Texas and in South Carolina the expression should be “March showers, bring April flowers.” But, of course you can’t say that.

“Spring cleaning,” is an expression people use in the Spring when they go through their house and do a very heavy cleaning. Also, they go through their possessions and get rid of things they don’t need by throwing them away or giving them to a charity.

One last expression I wanted to talk about is “Fall back and Spring forward.” This refers to the time change. In Fall (Autumn) the time goes back and we fall backwards, so to speak. In the Spring, the time goes forward 1 hour and we Spring or jump ahead. It’s a cute play on words since Fall and Spring have more than 1 meaning.

A few of my favorite English idioms!

There are lists all over the internet with lots and lots of English idioms. However, as I looked through the lists, I found that so many of the idioms are not widely used. I thought I’d make a list of some of my favorite idioms that are widely used in the United States.

Don’t cry over spilt milk. – This means not to fret over something that has already happened. It has happened and there is nothing you can do, so move on with your life.

It’s time to hit the hay. – This means you want to go to sleep.

It’s raining cats and dogs – This means it is raining really hard.

I’m so hungry I could eat a horse! – This means you are starved. (We really don’t eat horses in the USA.)

Get your ducks in a row – This refers to getting things organized.

to feel like a fish out of water – The means you feel uncomfortable in a certain situation.

Hold your horses – This means someone needs to slow down.

One-horse town – This means that the town is very small and boring.

to be a fly on a wall – This means you would like to be somewhere unnoticed. For example, if someone is in a meeting at work or school and you aren’t in it, you’d say, “I wish I could be a fly on the wall in that room.”