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An idiom (Latin: idioma, “special property”, f. Greek: ἰδίωμα - idiōma, “special feature, special phrasing”, f. .Greek: ἴδιος - idios, “one’s own”) is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made.^ Idioms are phrases or expressions that have hidden meanings.
  • WHAT ARE IDIOMS? Grades 4-6 Language Arts Lesson Plan 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC k6educators.about.com [Source type: General]

^ A word or phrase in a language that in common usage has a meaning not evident from the dictionary definition of the word (s) involved.
  • idiom@Everything2.com 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ These are phrases that mean something different from the literal meaning of the words they use.
  • Hebrew Idioms in the Gospels by David Bivin - JerusalemPerspective.com 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC jerusalemperspective.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[1] .There are estimated to be at least 25,000 idiomatic expressions in American English.^ American English idioms and expressions.
  • American English idioms and expressions 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC yoursecondlanguage.com [Source type: Original source]

^ American English idioms and expressions .
  • American English idioms and expressions 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC yoursecondlanguage.com [Source type: Original source]

^ English Expression 25.
  • Idioms part 1 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.teacherjoe.us [Source type: Original source]

[2]
.In linguistics, idioms are usually presumed to be figures of speech contradicting the principle of compositionality; yet the matter remains debated.^ Idioms are often, though perhaps not universally, classified as figures of speech.
  • What is an idioms? give few examples? - Yahoo! Answers 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

^ Idioms will thus range from morphemes to proverbs or even poems, taking pronouns, proper names and figures of speech.
  • Idioms and Idiomacity 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC ezinearticles.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ A term used by library cataloger s to indicate that a serial publication or set is as yet incomplete, usually because part s or volume s remain to be issue d by the publisher .
  • ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC lu.com [Source type: Academic]

.John Saeed defines an “idiom” as words collocated that became affixed to each other until metamorphosing into a fossilized term.^ Idioms    The German equivalent for idiom is Spracheigentuemlichkeit , a typically long word which translated back into English means a peculiarity or distinctiveness of language .
  • Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC esl.fis.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Explain that some of the idioms' meanings will appear as a VT word web by simply typing in the expression into the search box and pressing "LOOK IT UP" (e.g., "fed up").
  • Learning Idioms in ESL : Lesson Plans : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.visualthesaurus.com [Source type: Reference]

^ She continued, The difference between idioms and other phrases, is that [the meaning of the words together is different from their meaning individually]; they are a new meaning based on a previous meaning.
  • The World Is In Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.leilarosen.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[3] .This collocation — words commonly used in a group — redefines each component word in the word-group and becomes an idiomatic expression.^ A combination of words having a meaning peculiar to itself and not predictable as a combination of the meanings of the individual words, but sanctioned by usage; as, an idiomatic expression; less commonly, a single word used in a peculiar sense.
  • Definition of Idiom from dictionary.net 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.dictionary.net [Source type: Original source]

^ A deaf child unfamiliar with idioms will take an idiomatic word or phrase literally and become confused, which impedes comprehension (Arnold & Hornett, 1990).
  • Idioms in ASL 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.lifeprint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Compose a short story using several idioms together, perhaps part of a group using one word.
  • Speak-Read-Write.com's Guide to Idioms One - Copyright 2004-2009 Sally Jennings, Speak-Read-Write.com 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.speak-read-write.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The words develop a specialized meaning as an entity, as an idiom.^ Paint by Idioms Idioms are special words or phrases that have their own meaning.
  • Tower of English Idioms/Slang 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC towerofenglish.com [Source type: General]

^ The words develop a specialized meaning as an entity, as an idiom .
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ For example, you could learn the words poner and pilas, but still not understand the meaning of the idiom ponerse las pilas.

.Moreover, an idiom is an expression, word, or phrase whose sense means something different from what the words literally imply.^ English Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions with a meaning that cannot be derived from the literal translations of the individual words.

^ (An idiom is an expression, the meaning of which is not immediately apparent from the words that make up that expression.
  • Sign Language Idioms - Idioms in Sign Language 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC deafness.about.com [Source type: General]

^ English words whose meaning is changed by a difference in stress accent .
  • American English idioms and expressions 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC yoursecondlanguage.com [Source type: Original source]

.When a speaker uses an idiom, the listener might mistake its actual meaning, if he or she has not heard this figure of speech before.^ Take the sentence that uses the idiom and replace with the actual meaning.
  • EarthWalk Communications - eClassroom - Lesson Plans - Interesting Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.earthwalk.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ When a speaker uses an idiom, the listener might mistake its actual meaning, if he or she has not heard this figure of speech before.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Which of these animal idioms have you actually used before?
  • Which of these animal idioms have you actually used before? | Toluna 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC us.toluna.com [Source type: General]

[4] .Idioms usually do not translate well; in some cases, when an idiom is translated into another language, either its meaning is changed or it is meaningless.^ The translation of idioms is an extreme case of this.
  • CiteSeerX — Search Results — "Translating Idioms." 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC citeseerx.ist.psu.edu [Source type: Reference]

^ But Achmad, the idiom came into has an unusual meaning as well.
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

^ Some people get the meaning of idioms wrong.
  • Anyone have/had a book on idioms? - General Autism Discussion 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.wrongplanet.net [Source type: General]

Contents

Background

.In the English expression to kick the bucket, a listener knowing only the meanings of kick and bucket would be unable to deduce the expression's true meaning: to die.^ A listener knowing the meaning of kick and bucket will not thereby be able to predict that the expression can mean to die.
  • What is an idioms? give few examples? - Yahoo! Answers 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

^ For example, the English phrase to kick the bucket means to die.
  • What is an idioms? give few examples? - Yahoo! Answers 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

^ In the English expression to kick the bucket , a listener knowing only the meanings of kick and bucket would be unable to deduce the expression's true meaning: to die .
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Although this idiomatic phrase can, in fact, actually refer to kicking a bucket, native speakers of English rarely use it so.^ Use of idiomatic language in English .

^ The use of English prepositions is largely idiomatic.

^ For example, the English phrase to kick the bucket means to die.
  • What is an idioms? give few examples? - Yahoo! Answers 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

.It cannot be directly translated to other languages – the same expression in Polish is kopnąć w kalendarz (“to kick the calendar”), with “calendar” detached from its usual meaning, just like “bucket” in the English phrase.^ Note: The same expression can also mean the opposite: It's just the thing!
  • German-English Idioms Glossary 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC german.about.com [Source type: General]

^ This section of Tomisimo aims to be a complete bilingual reference for idioms, proverbs and sayings in Spanish and English; providing an explanation of meaning and usage, as well as an equivalent idiom or saying in the other language, when available.
  • Idioms, proverbs and sayings 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.tomisimo.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ T.C. Cooper "A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on."
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

.In Dutch the phrase is het loodje leggen (“to lay the piece of lead”); in Finnish the phrase is heittää lusikka nurkkaan (“to throw the spoon to the corner”); in Latvian the phrase is nolikt karoti (“to put the spoon down”); in Portuguese it's bater as botas (“to beat the boots”); and in Brazil the expression “to kick the bucket” (chutar o balde) has a completely different meaning (to drink too much alcohol).^ For example, the English phrase to kick the bucket means to die.
  • What is an idioms? give few examples? - Yahoo! Answers 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

^ Idiom: I've got to put my foot down Meaning: I've got to enforce the rules Idiom: Jack Meaning: Nothing - You don't know jack (short for jackshit) You don't know anything.
  • American English idioms and expressions 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC yoursecondlanguage.com [Source type: Original source]

^ She continued, The difference between idioms and other phrases, is that [the meaning of the words together is different from their meaning individually]; they are a new meaning based on a previous meaning.
  • The World Is In Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.leilarosen.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The same expression in Greek is "to shake the shoes", that means "to die".
.Another category of idioms is a word having several meanings, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes discerned from the context of its usage.^ Idioms    The German equivalent for idiom is Spracheigentuemlichkeit , a typically long word which translated back into English means a peculiarity or distinctiveness of language .
  • Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC esl.fis.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Metaphor: "A nonliteral usage of words in which one element, the topic, is compared to another, the vehicle, based on one or more shared features."
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Another idiom using the word stand is ‘stand up and be counted’ .
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

.This is seen in the (mostly un-inflected) English language in polysemes, the common use of the same word for an activity, for those engaged in it, for the product used, for the place or time of an activity, and sometimes for a verb.^ Idioms    The German equivalent for idiom is Spracheigentuemlichkeit , a typically long word which translated back into English means a peculiarity or distinctiveness of language .
  • Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC esl.fis.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ The words "wheat" and "to come" in Chinese had had the same pronunciation; therefore, the character 來 (lái) was borrowed in order to represent the verb "to come".
  • CHINESE IDIOMS AND SAYINGS 汉语成语 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC sin-idioms.blogspot.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Native speakers of a language use idioms all the time.
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

.Idioms tend to confuse those unfamiliar with them; students of a new language must learn its idiomatic expressions as vocabulary.^ It is best to learn idioms as you do vocabulary.

^ So he can't learn anything new, like languages.
  • Portuguese idioms - literally translated 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC tagide.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Idioms tend to confuse those unfamiliar with them; students of a new language must learn its idiomatic expressions as vocabulary.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Many natural language words have idiomatic origins, but are assimilated, so losing their figurative senses.^ Many natural language words have idiomatic origins , but are assimilated, so losing their figurative senses.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In this sense, a language is always idiomatic.
  • German Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.learnplus.com [Source type: Original source]

^ For these reasons, when idioms are translated word for word from one language to another, they often do not make any sense.

Relation with culture

.An idiom is generally a colloquial metaphor — a term requiring some foundational knowledge, information, or experience, to use only within a culture, where conversational parties must possess common cultural references.^ Some idioms are common enough to human experience that they exist in many cultures.
  • Truth Or Tradition - Figure of speech in the Bible: Idioms - Meaning cannot be derived from literal.. 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.truthortradition.com [Source type: General]

^ To use idioms correctly and appropriately takes many years of experience with the language.
  • Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC esl.fis.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ The idiom is generally used when talking about ‘country boys and girls’.
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

.Therefore, idioms are not considered part of the language, but part of the culture.^ Therefore, idioms are not considered part of the language, but part of the culture.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Posted under Culture , Language , Spanish Language Tagged with idioms .
  • Spanish idioms | Spanish Blog 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.transparent.com [Source type: General]

^ Therefore, I'd integrate these views in my teaching instruction when teaching idioms: a)considering the context (why, when, who) and b)frequency informed or corpus informed idioms.
  • idioms - CL&L2T&L 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC blog.ltc.arizona.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.As culture typically is localized, idioms often are useless beyond their local context; nevertheless, some idioms can be more universal than others, can be easily translated, and the metaphoric meaning can be deduced.^ Some interfaces are more user-friendly than others.
  • ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC lu.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Are you ready for some more idioms?
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

^ Some people get the meaning of idioms wrong.
  • Anyone have/had a book on idioms? - General Autism Discussion 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.wrongplanet.net [Source type: General]

.As defined by The New International Webster’s College Dictionary, an idiom is an expression not readily analyzable from its grammatical construction or from the meaning of its component parts.^ "An idiom is a conventionalized expression whose meaning cannot be determined from the meaning of its parts.
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

^ T.C. Cooper "A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on."
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Also, a college that admits both men and women Idiom: Cold is the new hot.
  • American English idioms and expressions 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC yoursecondlanguage.com [Source type: Original source]

.It is the part of the distinctive form or construction of a particular language that has a specific form or style present only in that language.^ An idea is considered the intellectual property of its creator only after it has been record ed or made manifest in specific form.
  • ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC lu.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Also refers to a characteristic style, particularly in the arts, or to the language or dialect peculiar to a specific people, geographic region, or social class.
  • ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC lu.com [Source type: Academic]

.Random House Webster’s College Dictionary seems to agree with this definition, even expanding it further, stating that an idiom is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual grammatical rules of a language or from the usual meanings of its constituent elements.^ "An idiom is a conventionalized expression whose meaning cannot be determined from the meaning of its parts.
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Idiom: An expression whose meaning cannot be predicted from the usual meanings of its constituent elements.
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

^ An idiom is "an expression whose meaning cannot be predicted from the usual meanings of its constituent elements."
  • Teaching Idioms- Nada AbiSamra 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.nadasisland.com [Source type: Academic]

.Unlike many other aspects of language, an idiom does not readily change as time passes.^ The second idiom is 'time for a change' .
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

^ Unlike many other aspects of language, an idiom does not readily change as time passes.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Other languages have their own idiom.
  • What is an idioms? give few examples? - Yahoo! Answers 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC answers.yahoo.com [Source type: General]

.Some idioms gain and lose favor in popular culture, but they rarely have any actual shift in their construction.^ Some idioms gain and lose favor in popular culture, but they rarely have any actual shift in their construction.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ I usually provide my students with a list of idioms and their definitions and ask them to create some conversations where they might use them.
  • idioms - CL&L2T&L 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC blog.ltc.arizona.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This week they learned some new idioms about friendship.
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

.People also have a natural tendency to over exaggerate what they mean sometimes, also giving birth to new idioms by accident.^ People also have a natural tendency to over exaggerate what they mean sometimes, also giving birth to new idioms by accident.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Sometimes you can guess the meaning of new idioms from context.

^ Then, if the class can not figure out the idiom's meaning, the presenting group should explicate the idiom and why they chose to illustrate it as they did.
  • Learning Idioms in ESL : Lesson Plans : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.visualthesaurus.com [Source type: Reference]

.Many idiomatic expressions are based upon conceptual metaphors such as "time as a substance", "time as a path", "love as war", and "up is more"; the metaphor is essential, not the idioms.^ Essential Idioms in English I love this book!
  • Amazon.com: Essential Idioms in English: Phrasal Verbs and Collocations (9780131411760): Robert J. Dixson: Books 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.amazon.com [Source type: General]

^ For example, "spend time", " battle of the sexes ", and "back in the day" are idiomatic and based upon essential metaphors.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Many idiomatic expressions are based upon conceptual metaphors such as "time as a substance", "time as a path", "love as war", and "up is more"; the metaphor is essential, not the idioms.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.For example, "spend time", "battle of the sexes", and "back in the day" are idiomatic and based upon essential metaphors.^ Example: When Christine had a baby, she decided to scale back her hours and just work part-time.
  • Business Idioms 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.eslmania.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ English Idiom #54 PUT ON THE BACK BURNER Explanation of English Idiom #54 LEAVE IT FOR LATER. Example of English Idiom #54 "I DON'T THINK WE WILL HAVE TIME TO COMPLETE IT THIS YEAR. LET'S PUT IT ON THE BACK BURNER." .
  • 101 English Language Idioms - English Idioms 101 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.vec.ca [Source type: Original source]

^ English Idiom #72 TURN BACK THE CLOCK Explanation of English Idiom #72 GO BACK IN TIME. Example of English Idiom #72 "I FEEL OLD. I WISH I COULD TURN BACK THE CLOCK." .
  • 101 English Language Idioms - English Idioms 101 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.vec.ca [Source type: Original source]

.These "deep metaphors" and their relationship to human cognition are discussed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in Metaphors We Live By (1980).^ And then we look at some metaphors and idioms that appear in the movie together and discuss how these expressions are used in the movie or TV show.
  • idioms - CL&L2T&L 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC blog.ltc.arizona.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In forms such as "profits are up", the metaphor is carried by "up" itself.^ In forms such as "profits are up", the metaphor is carried by "up" itself.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Many idiomatic expressions are based upon conceptual metaphors such as "time as a substance", "time as a path", "love as war", and "up is more"; the metaphor is essential, not the idioms.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The phrase "profits are up" is not an idiom; anything measurable can supplant "profits": "crime is up", "satisfaction is up", "complaints are up" et cetera.^ Phrases with Origins (Meaning / Example / Origin) - (towerofenglish.com) Idiom Site - origines et explications (idiomsite.com/) .

^ After they have guessed the idiom, open it up and show them the phrase and the meaning written inside.
  • WHAT ARE IDIOMS? Grades 4-6 Language Arts Lesson Plan 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC k6educators.about.com [Source type: General]

^ When we were writing the March 2008 Kang guru magazine, we brainstormed for idioms and phrases about fashion, dressing or clothes and here are just a few of the idioms we came up with!
  • Idioms Inggris - Kang Guru Indonesia 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC www.kangguru.org [Source type: General]

.Essential idioms generally involve prepositions, e.g.^ Essential idioms generally involve prepositions, e.g.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

"out of" and "turn into".
.Likewise, many Chinese characters are idiomatic constructs, as their meanings often not traceable to a literal (pictographic) meaning of their radicals. Because characters are composed from a small base of some 214 radicals, their assembled meanings follow different interpretation modes – from the pictographic to the metaphoric to those that have lost their original meanings.^ Eight hundred characters provide many more possibilities of expression than eight hundred words in English, since a combination of different characters in Chinese can form a word with a meaning different from the original meaning of the individual characters that form it.
  • CHINESE IDIOMS AND SAYINGS 汉语成语 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC sin-idioms.blogspot.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Most of the following Chinese phrases are in the form of fixed four-character idioms.

^ Many of the proverbs have changed over time, receiving a new meaning, sometimes contrasting with that of the original.
  • CHINESE IDIOMS AND SAYINGS 汉语成语 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC sin-idioms.blogspot.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Oxford Companion to the English Language(1992) pp.495–96.
  2. ^ Jackendoff, R. (1997). The architecture of the language faculty. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  3. ^ Saeed, John I. (2003), Semantics. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 60.
  4. ^ Saeed, John I. (2003), Semantics. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

IDIOM (Gr. .ibiw,ua, something peculiar and personal; ibcos, one's own, personal), a form of expression whether in words, grammatical construction, phraseology, &c., which is peculiar to a language; sometimes also a special variety of a particular language, a dialect.^ Dialect; a variant form of a language.
  • idiom@Everything2.com 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ By idiom is meant the use of words which is peculiar to a particular language.
  • idiom@Everything2.com 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ It is the part of the distinctive form or construction of a particular language that has a specific form or style present only in that language.
  • Idiom - Psychology Wiki 31 January 2010 13:013 UTC psychology.wikia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]



Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also idiom

German

Noun

Idiom n. (genitive Idioms, plural Idiome)
  1. idiom

Simple English

An "idiom" is a word or phrase which means something different from what it says - it is usually a metaphor. Idioms are common phrases or terms whose meanings are not literal, but are figurative and only known through their common uses.

Because idioms can mean something different from what the words mean it is difficult for someone not very good at speaking the language to use them properly. Some idioms are only used by some groups of people or at certain times. The idiom shape up or ship out, which is like saying improve your behavior or leave if you don't, might be said by an employer or supervisor to an employee, but not to other people.

Idioms are not the same thing as slang. Idioms are made of normal words that have a special meaning known by almost everyone. Slang is usually special words that are known only by a particular group.

To learn a language a person needs to learn the words in that language, and how and when to use them. But people also need to learn idioms separately because certain words together or at certain times can have different meanings. In order to understand an idiom, one sometimes needs to know the culture the idiom comes from.

To know the history of an idiom can be useful and interesting, but is not necessary to be able to use the idiom properly. For example most native British English speakers know that "No room to swing a cat" means "there was not a lot of space" and can use the idiom properly, but few know it is because 200 years ago sailors were punished by being whipped with a whip called a "cat o'nine tails". A big space was cleared on the ship so that the person doing the whipping had a lot of room to swing the cat.

A better understanding of an idiom is that it is a phrase whose meaning cannot be understood from the dictionary definitions of each word taken separately. In this case, a metaphor is not an idiom. The meaning of the saying "run like the wind" can be understood by looking the words up in a dictionary and using some common sense and imagination and the context of the phrase.

Some Common Idioms

  • Break a leg.
A way to wish someone good luck.
  • Live it up
Live wild, enjoy life, go to a lot of parties.
  • Kick the bucket
To die.
  • Shape up or ship out
Used to tell someone that they should leave if they don't improve their behavior or performance
  • Shed crocodile tears
To cry about something but without actually caring.
  • Wild goose chase
Useless journey or pursuit.
  • No room to swing a cat
There was not a lot of space.
  • Pay through the nose
Pay a lot of money, more than is normal.
  • Bark up the wrong tree
To choose the wrong course of action
  • Spill the beans
To disclose a secret.
  • Raining cats and dogs
It's raining hard.
  • To get into hot water
To get into trouble
  • To be chicken hearted
To be scared
  • To play cat and mouse
To toy/trick someone like a cat plays with a mouse before it kills it. Two people (or groups) check on each other in a suspicious or self-protective way, often with the goal of one or both parties trying to gain an advantage over the other.
  • She always wants to be the top dog
She always wants to be the leader
  • To smell a rat
Something is wrong
  • To let the cat out of the bag
To reveal a secret.
  • To chicken out
Become afraid to do a planned activity, and so not actually do it.
  • "To give up" doing something
To quit.
  • "To give up on" something.
To quit believing or hoping in something or somebody.
  • To eat like a horse
To eat a lot.
  • I smell a rat
I am suspicious.

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 26, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Idiom, which are similar to those in the above article.








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