Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shoes and socks

Parents often tell their children, "Go put on your shoes and socks!" It doesn't really make sense since you put your socks on first and then your shoes, but that's how American English speakers say it.

-Okay, kiddos, put on your shoes and socks!
-We are!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Me and my big mouth!

You say 'Me and my big mouth' when you're embarrassed about telling someone something that was supposed to be a secret.

-I can't believe you told Sarah about her surprise party!
-Me and my big mouth! I'm really sorry!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Feeling out of sorts

If you're 'feeling out of sorts,' it means that you're not quite feeling like yourself. You feel a little off, and perhaps a little sad.

-How are you feeling today?
-Well, I'm a little out of sorts. I'm not sure what's bothering me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Good luck with that!

'Good luck!' can mean just what it says -- that the person is wishing you well in your endeavor. However, 'Good luck with that,' especially when said with a sarcastic tone, means that the other person doesn't think you're going to be successful at all.

-I'm gonna go cram for my Philosophy final tomorrow.
-Yeah, good luck with that!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


A 'thingamajig' is the name you call something when you don't know or can't remember its name. Quite often, it is something with a complicated or unusual name.

-Hey, can you hand me that thingamajig over there?
-You mean the ratcheting box wrench? Here you go!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Slept like a rock

If you 'slept like a rock,' it means that you had a great night's sleep and feel well-rested.

-How did you sleep?
-I slept like a rock! I feel great!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cradle robber

'Cradle robber' is used to describe a person who dates or is married to a person who is much younger. A cradle is the bed a baby sleeps in.

-I can't believe they're going out! He's like 20 years older than her!
-What a cradle robber!

Monday, January 23, 2012

To go off on someone

'To go off on someone' means to tell someone how angry you are about something they did.

-So what did she say?
-She totally went off on me, saying how immature and irresponsible I am.

Note to self

'Note to self' is something someone says outloud, mostly to themself, as a reminder or a piece of advice of something not to do in the future. Often, it is humorous.

-Note to self: Don't go to the grocery store when you're hungry.

-Note to self: Don't take your daughter into the American Girl store unless you're prepared to spend a lot of money.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wrap your mind around

When you're trying to 'wrap your mind around' something, it means you're trying to make sense of something that is really sad, unexpected or shocking that takes you by surprise and doesn't make sense.

-I can't believe Kyle was killed in a freak car accident.
-I know. I just can't wrap my mind around it. So tragic.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fender bender

A 'fender bender' is a minor car accident where someone bumps into another car and causes a small amount of damage. Now that fenders, now called bumpers, are painted the same color as the rest of the car, instead of being black like they used to be, even a little fender bender can be quite expensive to fix.

-Yesterday I had a little fender bender!
-Did you do any damage to the other guy's car?
-No, just to mine!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


A 'tightwad' is a person who likes to hold on to their money and not spend it. The term is not a compliment, but is pejorative, and the person is often considered to be 'cheap.'

-My favorite kids' store is Gymboree. Where do you get your girls' clothes?
-I love Gymboree, too, but my husband is a total tightwad.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bend over backwards

To 'bend over backwards' for someone means that you do everything you possibly can to make them happy in a difficult situation.

-My pillow's too hard, the bathroom door squeaks, and the nurses come in at all hours of the night, taking my blood pressure.
-I'm sorry, Mom! I know it's no fun being in the hospital, but I have been bending over backwards to make this as tolerable as possible. Tomorrow I'll bring your pillow from home and some WD-40 for the door.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You know your...

You use 'you know your...' to let your speaker know you're about to say something funny. By using 'you know,' you are also trying to get the speaker into your corner, so they will relate to you.

-You know your cell reception is bad when you get a text message 5 hours later!
-Yeah, that's pretty bad!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Between a rock and a hard place

If you're 'between a rock and a hard place,' it means you're in a difficult situation with no good way out. No matter what you decide to do, there will be negative consequences to your actions.

-I can buy groceries and pay my bills this month, or I can refill my prescriptions.
-You're definitely between a rock and a hard place.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Suck it up

'Suck it up' is used when you want to be supportive or tell someone to get over it when they're in an unfair or frustrating situation that they can do nothing about.

-it's not fair!
-I hear you. But I think you're just going to have to suck it up. Sorry.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Soccer mom

A 'soccer mom' is a mom who lives in the suburbs, stays at home (doesn't work outside the home), drives a minivan and takes her kids to soccer practice, piano lessons or Scouts -- any kind of after school activity.

The term is slightly pejorative, as it implies the mom doesn't really do anything important -- she just drives her kids around. Still, there are enough soccer moms around that the term was coined.

-I'm such the little soccer mom!
-Ha ha! Me, too!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Never met a stranger

Someone who has 'never met a stranger' is a very friendly person who finds it easy to talk with people, including strangers, anywhere -- such as in a waiting room, the check-out line, a restaurant, an elevator or an airplane. This person is generally well-liked and seems to know everyone.

-Your son is so friendly!
-Thank you! He's never met a stranger.


'Downsizing' means moving from a larger place into a smaller one. It can refer to a physical space, like a large house to a condo, or it can refer to what a company or organization can do. In the case of the latter, downsizing is actually a euphemism for getting fired.

-What prompted your move?
-Now that the kids are out of college, it was time to downsize. We just didn't need that much space anymore.

-So, I heard your department is downsizing.
-Yeah, 10 people are being let go.

Monday, January 9, 2012


'E.T.A.' means 'Estimated Time of Arrival.'

-So, what's your E.T.A.?
-Not sure. Maybe 5:30.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back to Square One

'Back to Square One' is where you find yourself when you have to start something that you have worked on all over again, from the beginning.

-Well, since our supervisor didn't like our ideas, we're back to Square One.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Let's talk soon.

"Let's talk soon" actually means just the opposite. It's a way to end a conversation with someone, usually someone you haven't talked to or seen in a while, without appearing rude. When someone says this, they probably have no real intention of talking to you soon, and it could be a while before you hear from them again.

-It sure was nice seeing you again!
-It sure was! Let's talk soon!

Friday, January 6, 2012


The word 'effin' is an abbreviation for 'fuckin.'. Since 'fuck' is a bad word, it is often referred to as the 'f' word,and likewise, 'fuckin'' becomes 'effin.'

-What are you talking about?! That's effin' crazy!
-I know, but that's what they said!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hate to break it to you folks, but...

'"Hate to break it to you folks, but...' is used when bad news is about to be announced to a group. The speaker uses the word 'hate' to let the listeners know they feel sympathy for the people in the situation.

-Hate to break it to you folks, but our plane is experiencing some mechanical difficulties, so it'll be at least an hour before we can take off. We're doing everything as quickly as we can.
-(Deep sighs of frustration and groans from passengers.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fighting words

'Fighting words' are words that someone says that could easily start a fight. Sometimes the person using them does so on purpose out of hate, and sometimes it is just out of pure ignorance.

-When I was a kid, a boy calling another boy 'gay' was fighting words.
-Yeah, people are more tolerant than they used to be.

Ticking time bomb

A 'ticking time bomb' is a person who has poor anger management skills and could do something violent at any moment.

-Did you hear about the guy who shot the manager at the job he'd just been fired from?
-Yes. All his coworkers said on the news that he was a ticking time bomb. Luckily, the manager wasn't seriously hurt.