English is a language that is spoken widely around the world. It has a lot of phrases that are commonly used in everyday conversations. Some of these phrases have become so popular that they have become a part of the English lexicon. In this blog, we will take a look at 15 of the most common English phrases.
“Break a leg”
This phrase is used to wish someone good luck, especially before a performance. It’s believed to have originated in the theater, where actors would “break a leg” by bending it as a way of bowing to the audience after a successful performance.
“Bite the bullet”
This phrase means to endure a painful or difficult situation with courage and without complaining. It originated from the practice of soldiers biting on a bullet during surgery before anesthesia was available.
“Get cold feet”
This phrase means to become nervous or hesitant about doing something, especially something that one has agreed to do. It’s believed to have originated from the physical reaction of feeling cold when one is scared or nervous.
“Piece of cake”
This phrase means something is very easy to do. It’s believed to have originated from the practice of giving a cake as a prize for winning a game or competition, as a cake was considered an easy and inexpensive reward.
“The ball is in your court”
This phrase means that it’s someone’s turn to take action or make a decision. It’s believed to have originated from tennis, where the ball is in the opponent’s court after a serve.
“Costs an arm and a leg”
This phrase means something is very expensive. It’s believed to have originated from the practice of charging more for a portrait if the subject wanted their arms and legs in the painting, as it required more time and skill from the artist.
“A piece of my mind”
This phrase means to express one’s anger or frustration about something or someone. It’s believed to have originated from the idea of giving someone a piece of one’s own thoughts or opinions.
“Hit the nail on the head”
This phrase means to accurately identify or solve a problem. It’s believed to have originated from the practice of carpentry, where hitting the nail on the head was necessary to secure a piece of wood.
“Let the cat out of the bag”
This phrase means to reveal a secret or information that was supposed to be kept hidden. It’s believed to have originated from the practice of markets where sellers would substitute a cat for a piglet, and if someone opened the bag prematurely, the secret would be revealed.
“Actions speak louder than words”
This phrase means that what someone does is more important than what they say. It’s believed to have originated from the idea that actions are more powerful and meaningful than words.
“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”
This phrase means to not make plans or assumptions based on something that hasn’t happened yet. It’s believed to have originated from the practice of farmers who would count their eggs before they hatched, only to be disappointed if some did not hatch.
“Go the extra mile”
This phrase means to make an extra effort or do more than what is required. It’s believed to have originated from the biblical reference of walking two miles when asked to walk one, as a way of showing kindness and going above and beyond.
“Barking up the wrong tree”
This phrase means to pursue the wrong course of action or person. It’s believed to have originated from hunting dogs that would bark at the wrong tree, where the prey was not located.
“In the same boat”
This phrase means to be in the same difficult or challenging situation as someone else. It’s believed to have originated from the idea of being in a boat with others, where if one person’s actions affect the boat, everyone in it is affected as well.
“Kill two birds with one stone”
This phrase means to accomplish two things with one action. It’s believed to have originated from the practice of hunting, where killing two birds with one stone was seen as a skillful and efficient act.
In conclusion, these 15 common English phrases have become a part of our everyday conversations and have enriched the English language. They not only convey meaning but also have interesting origins that reflect the history and culture of the language. It’s important to be aware of these phrases and use them appropriately to effectively communicate with others.
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