Learn American Idioms

In fine feather: in good condition; in good health

e.g. With a good night sleep, I am in fine feather today.

After all: in spite of everything

e.g. She didn’t get a good score; after all, it was her first attempt.

Pass the buck: put the blame on someone else not responsible

e.g. It was all your fault! Don’t try to pass the buck!

 On board: participating

e.g. We try to get as many people as possible on board this important project.

 Make oneself at home: feel comfortable

e.g. Please make yourself at home; take off your shoes if you want to.

 Pass the hat: collect money for

e.g. He is always passing the hat for something.

 Late in life: in old age

e.g. It was only late in life that he became a famous writer.

Act one’s age: behave maturely

e.g. Stop behaving like a teenager! Act your age.

No flies on: very alert, smart

e.g. You cannot trick her; there are no flies on her.

Bad sort: an unpleasant person

e.g. He is a bad sort; nobody likes him.

 Bag your face: shut up!

e.g. You and your loud mouth! Go and bag your face!

 Dance to another tune: change to a different attitude or behavior

e.g. If your parents were here, you would dance to another tune.

A little bird told me: somehow I knew

e.g. “How  did you know what I did?” “Well, a little bird told me.”

Add insult to injury: make things worse

e.g. Enough is enough! Don’t add insult to injury.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau


Author: Stephen Lau

Born in Hong Kong, Stephen Lau received his education from the University of Hong Kong, SEAMEO in Singapore, and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He has published books on learning English as well as on health and wisdom in living. He now resides in the United States.

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