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Idioms

Introduction

Definition
According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, an idiom is:

a phrase or sentence whose meaning is not clear from the meaning of its indivi -
dual words and which must be learnt as a whole unit,"(p. 616)


Idiomaticy
There are three types of combinations:

1. Non-idiomatic free combinations
In these combinations, both the lexical verb and the adverbial particle
keep their proper meaning. The meaning of the whole combination indicates
movement and direction.
go/get up down in into out off away
1. Go into the house quickly and bring me the rain coat!
2. Get away from here or youll be caught

2. Semi-idiomatic verbal and adverbial combinations:
In these combinations, the lexical verb keep its meaning, whereas the particle becomes an
intensifier or a marker of completion:
1. Eat it up! (Till nothing is left on the plate.)
2. Dont use up all the flour! (Leave some more for me, too!)
3. Have you found out the truth about your parents?

3. Fully idiomatic combinations
The meaning of the whole combination cannot be deduced from the parts.
The words have lost their own meanings completely: to lose ones head, to take sth. to the heart,
birds eyeview, the eye of day, to give the cold shoulder
to smb., to drive the nail home.

There are some verbs such as tamper with which can only occur as multi-word verbs, since there
are no single verbs tamper.

Register:
Informal:
Idioms which are used with friends and family or people you know in relaxed situations
Very informal:
Idioms which are used in a very informal or not polite way, often between members of a
particular social group.
Taboo:
Idioms which are likely to offend people and are not used in formal situations.
Formal:
Idioms which are used in a serious or polite way. For exemple in business documents, in serious
newspapers, books, etc
Literary:
Idioms which are mainly used in literature
Old-fashioned:
Idioms which are still used but sound old-fashioned
Humorous:
Idioms which are intended to make people lauth.



A
Arms
Chance your arm
Register: informal
Form: british
Meaning:to take a riks in order to get something that you want
Exemple: Arent you chancing your arm a bit, giving up a secure job to start a business?
Translation: A-si incerca norocul (to try one's luck/fortune , to take a chance)

Keep somebody at arms lentgh
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: do not allow someone to become too frienfly with you
Exemple: I always had the feeling that she was keeping me at arm s lenth
Translation: a tine la distanta

Put the arms on somebody
Register: informal
Form: american
Meaning: to try to force someone to do something
Exemple: If he doesn t pay up, we will get Rick to pull the arm on him
Translation: a forta mana cuiva

B
Back
At/In the back of beyound
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: in a place which is far away from other towns and difficult to get to
Exemple: He lives in a tiny, remote village in the back of beyound
Translation: In tara de nicaieri

Be sick to the back teeth
Register: informal
Form: British and Australian
Meaning: to be bored because a subject has been discused too much
Exemple: You are probably sick to the back teeth of hearing about my problems.
Translation: Plictisit de moarte

Talk out of the back of your head
Register: informal
Form: British and Australian
Meaning: to talk nonsense
Exemple: He is talking out of the back of your head-you can t get a flight to Australia for less
than 5000 these days.
Translation: A vorbi de pomana, A bate campii

E
Ear
Be out on your ear
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to be forced to leave your job because you have done somethingwrong
Exemple: You will be out on your ear if you don t start doing some work around here.
Translation:

Bend somebody ear
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to talk to someone for a long time, usually about something boring
Exemple: Don t let her bend your ears about how overworked she is
Translation: Vorba lunga

Keep an ear to the ground
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to watch and listen carefully to what is happening
Exemple: I will keep an ear to the ground and tell you if i hear of any vacancies.
Translation: A fi cu ochii in patru

Lend an ear
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to listen carefully and in a friendly way to someone
Exemple: If you have any problems go to Claire. She will always lend a sympathetic ear.
Translation: A ciuli urechile

Elbow
Give somebody the elbow
Register: informal
Form: British
Meaning: to end a rmantic relationship with someone
Exemple: They went out together for a month and then she gave him the elbow.
Translation: A-i da papucii.

Elbow grease
Register: informal, humorous
Form: the basic form
Meaning: hard work, especially when you are cleaning something
Exemple: With determination and elbow grease we soon transformed the kitchen.
Translation: Cu sudoarea muncii.

Eye
Be in the eye of the storm
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to be invoved in an argument or a problem that affects a lot of people
Exemple: International oil agencies were in the eye of the storm when the war broke out in the
country.
Translation: A fi in mijlocul problemei.

Get your eye in
Register: informal
Form: British and Australian
Meaning: to be very good at an activityby practising it
Exemple: It will take me a while to get my eye in. I haven t played for years.
Translation: A-si recapata avantul.

Clap eyes on
Register: informal
Form: British and Australian
Meaning: to see somebody or something for the first time
Exemple: I wish i d never clapped eyes on that money
Translation: La prima vedere.

F
Face
Fly in the face of something
Register: slightly informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to be the opposite of what is usual or accepted
Exemple: The recommendations fly in the face of previous advices on safe limits for alcohol
consumption.
Translation:

Stuff your face
Register: verry informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to eat a lot of food
Exemple: We have been staffing our faces with Sussan s delicious cake.
Translation: A se indopa.

Lose face
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to do something that make other people stop respecting you
Exemple: He refused to admit he made a mistake beacause he didn t want o lose face.
Translation: A pierde respectul.

Foot
The boot is on the other foot
Register: informal
Form: British and Australian
Meaning: a situation is now the opposite of what it was before often because a person who was
in a week position is now in a strong position
Exemple: In the past we had great influence over their economy but the boot is on the other foot
now.
Translation:

Put the foot down
Register: informal
Form: mainly british
Meaning: a suddenly increase in speed when somebody is driving
Exemple: The road was clear, si i put my foot down and tried to overtake the car in front of me.
Translation: A calca acceleratia.

H
Hair
Curl somebody hair
Register: informal
Form: American
Meaning: to frighten or shock someone
Exemple: The scene where Tom kiled Sam curled my hair.
Translation: A i se zburli parul.

Get in somebody hair
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to annay someone, especialu by being near them for a long period of time
Exemple: Harry usually keeps the kids occupated,so they don t get in my hair while i m cooking.
Translation: A calca pe bataturi.

Hand
Hand in glove
Register: informal
Form: American
Meaning: if one person/organisation is working hand in glove with another, they are working
together, often to do something dishonest.
Exemple: Some of this gangs were working hand in glove with the police.
Translation: A fi mana in mana.

Go hat in hand
Register: informal
Form: American
Meaning: to ask someone for money or help in a way which makes you feel ashamed
Exemple: I had to go hat in hand to my parent again to ask for some money.
Translation: Cu coada intre picioare, A se simti cu musca pe caciula.

Head
The head hancho
Register: informal
Form: mainly American
Meaning: the most important person in an organisation
Exemple: We will have to ask Allan, he is the head hancho in our organisation.
Translation: A fi pionul principal.

Give somebody their head
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to allow someone the freedom to do what they want
Exemple: He has some great ideas. Why not give hin his head and see what kind of campaign he
comes up with.
Translation: A-i da frau liber cuiva.

K
Knee
Be knee-high to a grasshooper
Register: informal, humourus
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to be very young
Exemple: The last time i came here i was knee-high to a grasshooper.
A grasshooper is an extremely small insect.
Translation: A fi la piciorul broastei.

L
Leg
Give somebody a leg up
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to help someone to be more succesfull
Exemple: It must give you a leg up if you want to be an actor and your parents are both in the
profession.
Translation: A da o mana de ajutor.

Shake a leg
Register: informal,old-fasioned
Form: the basic form
Meaning: something that you say in order to tell people to hurry up
Exemple: Come on, shake a leg!the film starts in 20 minutes.
Translation: Misca-te.

M
Mind
Have a mind like a stell trap
Form: the basic form
Meaning: to be able to think very quickly and clearly
Exemple: She will be a briliant lowyer- she has a mind like a steel trap.
Translation: A avea o minte sclipitoare.

In your mind's eye
Form: the basic form
Meaning: in your imagination/memory
Exemple: In my mind s eyes, she is still the little girl she was the last time i saw her.
Translation: In amintiri

Mouth
Register: informal
Form: American
Meaning: to talk a lot without saying anything important
Exemple: He is just another of those politicians who run off at the mouth
Translation: A palavragi, A vinde gogosi.

N
Neck
Get it in the neck
Register: informal
Form: Britism and American
Meaning: to be punished or crticised for something that you have done
Exemple: It always seems to be the chairmanof those footbal clubs, is the one who get it in the
neck when the team does badly.
Translation: A fi pus la zid / la colt.

S
Skin
Be in the skin of your teeth
Register: informal
Form: the basic form
Meaning: verry close o not succed in doing something
Exemple: We escaped by the skin of our teeth.
Translation: La milimetru.

Conclusion
Idioms are a colourful and fascinating aspect of English.they are used in all types of language
informal and formal, spoken or writen.
They often have a stronger meaning than non-idiomatic phrases and they also sugest attitudes of
the person using them, for exemple: disapproval,humour, exasperation or admiration, so we have
to use them carefully.