Idioms are a staple in literary writing and speaking, and are often shared across languages through numerous translations. They can be useful and even fun to use.
Like the small brown iru seeds used by Iya Bisi in preparing her efo riro, idioms are sprinkled across our literary speeches and writing.
Idioms are phrases whose meanings are not literally implied. They include proverbs, wise quotes, and some phrasal verbs.
While it might seem like idioms are definitely not a piece of cake, to someone first learning about them, I can assure you, the more of them you hear and study, the easier they’ll be to use as just a natural part of the English language!
Let’s take a look at some examples:
1. All bark and no bite
• Definition: Being verbally threatening, but unwilling to do anything significant.
• Example: “He keeps threatening to shut down our paper after we ran that article about him, but I don’t think he will. In my opinion, he’s all bark and no bite.”
2. Cut to the chase
• Definition: Skip the irrelevant parts, and go straight to the main point.
• Example: “Why don’t you just cut to the chase, and tell me where you hid my phone!”
3. Piece of cake
• Definition: Something that is easy to understand or accomplish.
• Example: “My math homework last night was a piece of cake! I finished it in ten minutes.”
Here are others:
1. At the age of fifty, the world lay at his feet.
2. Cry me a river yet I will not change my mind.
3. With heavy hearts, they mourned the loss of their sister.
4. Remarkably, the crowd was all ears during Fola’s speech.
5. More haste, less speed.
If you’re looking to spice your speeches and writing, idioms are a perfect recipe. So if you haven’t been using them, you should start now.
Share your examples of idioms with us, or get help with using them better.
idioms add color to the language. They are also a reflection of the culture in which the language is spoken — and of its values.