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8 Most Common English Idioms And Their History

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Each dialect and language has its own complex system made of metaphors, idioms and other types of figurative language that, at times, perplexes those speakers that are non-natives. Although, even a few of the best and well-educated people don't always understand how sayings came to be. This leaves them wondering and searching for the answers. Although not a very comprehensive list, the summaries that follow will explore a few of the most popular common English idioms. If planning on taking the TOEIC or TOEFL test then reading this list of common idioms is best before taking the test. This could help with the grasp of the English language and get a better score.

White Elephant


To this day, "white elephant" has transformed into a phrase that means an intentional and tacky swap of gifts. Although, the usage that it originally had still happens to be thrown around here and there. It originally came from the meaning of actual white elephants, which was kept as a vanity pet by South Asians. The symbolization of this idiom means anything that is expensive or very huge. Generally these gifts require more funds than what it is actually valued at in order to maintain.

On Cloud Nine


The people who are behind the development of "on cloud nine" remain obscured largely. However, it presented itself to the scene near the 1950's and was spread throughout the use of radio programs. When Johnny Dollar, the eponymous protagonist found himself unconscious he would find himself floating about this popular common English idiom. Even though it had probably existed sometime before the show, it had been caught as slang for ecstasy that was induced by substances which were intoxicating. This was before it underwent the general broadening to encompass any form of happiness.

Bitter End


Those speakers of English that were rather fond for the vocabulary of the military knew that a "bitter" referred to a line wound found around a wooden or iron pike on the deck of a seafaring vessel. Now days, professionals of the DoMyWriting call the final parts of the lines as "the bitter end". This is regardless of whether they are attached to the post or not. Also, the mainstream speakers and sailors alike use this phrase to mean extreme loyalty. This could be towards a cause, an event or even to an individual.

The use of common English idioms varies all over the world; however their meanings remain the same. Even those that are well-educated in the language don't quite understand why or how these phrases came to be. It is interesting to understand just how often individuals use these idioms each day of their lives. It is easy to figure this by checking out the volume and frequency of the phrase. Having a good knowledge of what idioms are is very important in the majority of competitive exams. These are just a few of the idioms that should be known and fully understood by all.



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