Being angry about something that happened in the past; a grudge.
A Dime a Dozen
When something is extremely common and simple to acquire.
A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted
It's easy for someone acting foolish to lose his/her money through carelessness or by being tricked.
A Piece of Cake
A task that is simple to complete; similar to the common phrase "as easy as pie."
An Arm and a Leg
Something that is extremely expensive; an idiom meaning the price paid was costly, excessively so.
All Greek To Me
When something is incomprehensible due to complexity.
Back to Square One
To go back to the beginning; a popular saying that suggests a person has to start over.
Back To the Drawing Board
Similar to the phrase above, it means starting over again from a previously failed attempt.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree
To make a wrong assumption about something.
Beating Around the Bush
Avoiding the main point; a common phrase meaning a person is failing to get to the bottom line.
Beating a Dead Horse
Something that is seen as futile; a popular saying used to describe how bringing up older issues that have already been resolved is pointless.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Being faced with two difficult choices; a dilemma.
Break The Ice
Breaking down a social stiffness or awkardness.
Close But No Cigar
Coming close to a successful outcome only to fall short at the end.
Cup Of Joe
A cup of joe is an American nickname for a cup of coffee.
Curiosity Killed The Cat
An idiom meaning mind your own business, as too much poking and prodding could lead to harm.
Cry Over Spilt Milk
One shouldn't worry over things that have already happenend and that cannot be changed.
Cut To The Chase
To get to the point, leaving out all of the unnecessary details. Similar to popular sayings like "beating around the bush."
Cut The Mustard
Meeting expectations; used as a way to describe how someoneone has met the required standards that were set.
Lying; a common phrase meaning someone is calling for help when it's not really needed.
Note: Finding the origins for many phrases and idioms is downright impossible! Everybody has their ideas on how a phrase may have originated, but a lot of the things that are said cannot be confirmed with a certainty. Thus, what's provided on this website are some of the most popular, and perhaps plausible theories that are floating around for each saying.
Quotes will oftentimes be taken from old books, newspapers, poems, and plays, and the purpose of these are to give the reader an idea on how far back in history some expressions go. However, keep in mind that if a newspaper or book from the 1850s uses a particular idiom, it does not necessarily mean that the idiom originated from them or that time period. In all likelihood, if an idiom is being used in a newspaper, then it's probably already a well-known expression at that time.
The purpose of this site is to give you an idea on how old some of these idioms and phrases are, how some of them may have started out, and how their meanings have changed from then to now, if at all. It's all quite interesting... at least for me it is!
Hopefully the information found here will prove somewhat useful, and just so you know, I'll be adding new popular sayings whenever I have time. There are a whole lot of phrases out there, so why don't you browse the dictionary of phrases on this site and find the one you're looking for? If you don't see the expression you're familiar with, don't panic, I'll get to it eventually. Well, maybe.
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.
Synonyms: jargon, argot, phrase, colloquialism
Source: thefreedictionary.com and thesaurus.com
KnowYourPhrase.com - Common Idioms and Phrases, With Their Meanings and Origins
Find common phrases, learn their meanings, and discover their origins!
How many phrases and sayings can you think of? The total number of phrases used around the world is quite staggering, yet you might only be able to name a few. All too often, people will utter them during conversations without even realizing it!
For example, have you ever heard the saying break the ice? This is usually said when two people are meeting for the first time, because due to their unfamiliarity, there exists a somewhat chilling stiffness between them. So what does the idiom mean, then? Does it literally involve you dunking your hand in the nearest glass of water, pulling out a few blocks of ice, and then slamming them on the ground? Not at all! What this idiom really means, is to break down that cold wall of social awkwardness, perhaps with a joke, so that the two strangers become more comfortable with each other.
Make sense? Well, keep in mind that most, if not all, of the phrases and idioms we use are meant to be taken figuratively, not literally. Even with that in mind, it can still be difficult to determine what certain idioms are supposed to mean. Indeed, maybe you've heard of a certain phrase, but haven't a clue about its definition, or maybe you've heard of a common saying, but you want to learn more about its history.
Well, guess what... that's what this website is for! Know Your Phrase has a list full of idioms and phrases, and if you dig far enough, you'll discover what they mean and where they're from! This is a simple, light-hearted website that gives you some information pertaining to where your favorite expressions originated from, and also what their meanings are! New phrases are being added every so often, so if you don't see the one you're looking for, hang tight, it'll get there.