Fun With English

A way with words


Not My Cup Of Tea

Today’s phrase is not my cup of tea. Explanation: If you say something is not your cup of tea, you mean it is something that does not interest you. Example: Jane declined Oliver’s invitation to the opera, explaining it was not her cup of tea. Origin: This expression got its start in the late 1800s when  Read More

July 16, 2017 author

Shirttail Relative

Today’s phrase is shirttail relative. I read it in a book, and decided to look it up. Explanation: A shirttail relative is someone who is either a relative by marriage, distantly related (say, a third cousin), or a family friend who is an honourary “relative”. Example: June invited everyone to the wedding – even the  Read More

June 15, 2017 author

Barn Burner

Today’s phrase is barn burner.  I can honestly say I’d never heard the expression barn burner before today. Someone used it on a call, and of course I wanted to know what it meant! Explanation: A barn burner is something that arouses much excitement or interest. Example:  The Superbowl is always a barn burner –  Read More

May 3, 2017 author

Cheek By Jowl

Today’s expression is cheek by jowl. Explanation: If you say something or someone is cheek by jowl, you mean that they are very close together,  practically side by side. Example: Caitlin hated taking the subway at rush hour, she was always stuffed in cheek by jowl with tons of other people. Origin: This phrase, the first recorded  Read More

April 26, 2017 author

Coming Down The Pike

Today’s phrase is the English expression coming down the pike. Explanation:  The phrase coming down the pike means something that appears or comes forward. Example: Jeff took careful note of everyone’s ideas, but refused to make a decision on what kind of cake to order. He said “I have to wait and see if any  Read More

April 2, 2017 author

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