Like the sound of one's own voice

"I have a pretty little bird that sings ail the time," Melissa said. "Maybe it likes the sound of its own voice," Patsy said. I don't think Patsy is being sarcastic, but this idiom is often used in a sarcastic manner when referring to a person who talks on and on and doesn't give others an opportunity to talk.



Go straight

This is the world-famous criminal Dennis Dimwit on the day of his release from prison. He has not exactly enjoyed his stay in jail and that has convinced him to go straight. When someone goes straight - it's usually a criminal - he changes his way of life and becomes an honest, law-abiding citizen. "I'm sincerely glad I have gone straight." Dennis smile.



Go on the stump

In years past, when politicians traveled around the country talking to people they discovered that the stumps of old trees made useful platforms on which to stand to give a speech. That's the origin of this idiom, and it now means to campaign for political office. "Fredrick has decided he'd like to be President and he's gone on the stump to speak to the voters."



All of a piece with your clumsiness

"Chadwick, you silly cat !" Millie cried. "The way you keep bumping into things is all of a piece with your clumsiness !" Millie is saying that Chadwick's actions are consistent with his nature of character. In other words, it is what you would expect from someone such as Chadwick. "Getting caught is all of a piece with me, too," Chadwick complained.


A bag of wind

"I wonder why people say Howard is such an interesting man," Lily yawned. "To me he is nothing more than a big bag of wind." Lily is either very unkind or she is awfully honest because a bag of wind is someone who talks a lot. "Especially if he boasts and tells exaggerated stories that are hard to believe," Lily added.


Dance attendance on someone

It used to be the custom for a bride at her wedding to dance with every guest - no matter how tired she was. That's the origin of this expression, but it now means to be at the service of someone to carry out his or her every wish. "I suspect that Ray is interested in Fiona. Look how he is dancing attendance on her.



Beard the lion ( in his den )

In this British idiom, 'beard' means to defy or oppose someone, and 'in his den' means in his territory. Therefore, to beard the lion ( in his den ) is to confront a person of authority ( in his own office, for example ) and to challenge him. "I'm going to walk right into the boss's office and beard the lion by demanding a nice big raise," Alex said.



Give someone a rocket

Oh, oh ! The boss is about to give Edna a rocket - and if you ask me I really think she deserves it ! That's because this British idiom means to give someone a severe scolding or a reprimand. "You know it's amazing how much better Edna performs at her job since I gave her a rocket yesterday morning," the boss smiled.



( and ) Bob's your uncle

No one knows why Bob is the name of the uncle in this expression, but that needn't concern us as long as we remember that ( and ) Bob's your uncle means that everything is satisfactory or will work out well. "I will put a little more ice cream on the top of this, and Bob's your uncle ! This should make a real nice treat for you," the ice cream man smiled at Teddy.



Break out of the mold

Have you ever had a desire to break old habits and change your way of living ? If so, you would understand this expression because break out of the mold describes doing something completely different or changing one's way of doing things. "Why don't we break out of the mold and go somewhere new on our holiday this year," Steven said.



Do a power of good

"For goodness sake, Mr Blogs ! Don't be so stingy. A small coin to that poor little fellow won't hurt you," Bessy frowned. "It would do him a power of good for he looks hungry !" To do a power of good means to help or to do a lot of good. "It might even do you a power of good to be generous to people now and then," Bessy said.



Give someone the message

Jerome has had a nice warm feeling for Ruth for a long, long time. Being modest, he didn't know how to give her the message. Finally, on Valentine's Day he gathered up all his courage and gave her the word. When we give someone the message or the word we convey a piece of information to him or her. Ruth gave Jerome the message by giving him a think you kiss !



Burn someone up

"Doesn't it burn you up when people refuse to wait in line at the bus stop !" Barbara said. "It sure burns me up !" Barbara is saying she is irritated or annoyed. "I get burned up by people who don't do their work properly," Jack answered. "My secretary, for instance, burns me up because she's always knitting on the job !"



Does not add up to a can of beans / sardines

I guess it didn't cost much money to buy a can of beans or sardines when this North American idiom was first used. What it means is that someone's plan, theory, idea, opinion, etc is thought to be of little value. In fact, it's worthless. "That's an interesting idea, Frank, but I'm sure the boss will tell you that it doesn't add up to a can of beans. In fact, it does not add up to a can of sardines to me either," he frowned.



Give someone enough rope and he will hang himself

If a person who is doing something wrong is allowed to continue his bad ways, it is said he will soon bring about his or her own defeat or destruction. That's the meaning behind this idiom. "I told you not to cheat or tell lies," Officer Mutt said. " Don't you remember hearing me say, give Willy enough rope and he will hang himself ?"



Look / feel bushed

"Oh, you poor, poor man ! You look absolutely bushed !" Mrs. Bond said when her husband returned from work. "I've had a bad day," he answered, "and you're right ! I feel bushed." "What you need is a nice cool glass of lemonade," Mrs. Bond smiled. I'll get one for you." That should help to make Mr. Bond feel better because to look / feel bushed is to be completely exhausted.



For a song

Felix saw a pretty bird in a pet shop window. "How much is that bird ?" he asked the man in the shop. "That would normally cost a lot of money, but you may have it for a song." the man replied. You may think that Felix had to sing a song to get the bird, but that's not true. The idiom for a song simply means for very little money. "I bought my bird for a song," Felix said later.



Get the elbow

Craig has been working for the Ga-Ga Company for about six years. Imagine his shock when he went to work yesterday and found he had got the elbow ! To get the elbow is to be fired - though in a personal relationship the same expression can mean the relationship has ended. "Have you heard Lily got the elbow from her boyfriend !"



Country cousin

"I am taking Ashley, my country cousin, to the theater today," Teddy explained. Ashley isn't really Teddy's cousin though : we just use this expression when referring to people who live in small country towns or who actually live on farms in the country. They are called country cousins because it is thought that their manners and habits are simple and uncomplicated. "That's not always true," Ashley smiled.



Butter both sides of one's bread

"I have a great idea," Frank said, "I can butter both sides of my bread during my summer vacation if I offer swimming lessons to young people. In that way I can have fun at the swimming pool, and at the same time I will earn some spending money !" To butter both sides of one's bread is to do two things at the same time - and to profit from them both.



Cry bucket

If this isn't a sad sight ! There is Grandma watching her favorite afternoon television drama - and it is so sad that everyone in the room is crying buckets ! "To cry buckets means to cry lots and lots of tears," Grandma explained. "Grandma is crying buckets, and that has caused me to cry buckets too," Grandma's cat wept.



Get in on the act

Professor Alan is having trouble. Everyone in the auditorium seems to be getting in on the act today ! This idiom ( it's a term from the theater ) refers to taking part in something while others are doing it. "I can tell that everyone enjoyed my lecture today," Professor Alan said, "because so many people wanted to get in on my act," he smiled.



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