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English Vocabulary Lesson – Unusual American Idioms! June 23rd, 2017

Part of sounding like a native speaker of any language is knowing how to use the idioms that exist in that particular language. Here is a list of 5 of our favorite English idioms, what they mean and how to use them!

1. Cat’s got your tongue

What it means: Cat’s got your tongue means that someone is speechless or at a loss for words. It is usually used by others to encourage that person to speak or inquire why they are not talking.

How to use it: You can use this expression as a statement or as a question. For example, if two people are having a conversation and one person says something to the other that surprises them and leaves them needing time to think of a response, the other person can jokingly say “Cat’s got your tongue!” If you’re not particularly sure why someone is not speaking, a common way to ask why is to say, “What’s wrong? Cat’s got your tongue?”

2. Two peas in a pod

What it means: Two peas in a pod is a way to describe two people who are very similar and get along well. People also often say this to suggest that, because of their similarities, they are best friends or romantic partners. There are many other idioms that are used to explain similar concepts. For example, the expression “cut from the same cloth” means that two or more people have similar personalities, however, it does not necessarily imply that they have similar interests or get along particularly well.

How to use it: When describing how similar two people are and how well they get along, you can sum up all of their similarities and good relationship by saying, “They are two peas in a pod.”

3. To look like a million bucks

What it means: To look dressed up. To look GOOD.

How to use it: When someone you know dresses up particularly nice for an event or is wearing a new outfit for the first time, you can compliment their appearance by saying “Wow! You look like a million bucks!”

4. Bigger fish to fry

What it means: Bigger fish to fry means that someone has more important things to do or talk about than what is currently being done or discussed.

How to use it: When someone starts talking about something you think is unimportant/petty or asks you to do something that is not on your list of priorities, you can say “I have bigger fish to fry.”

5. On the fence

What it means: On the fence means that you’re stuck between two options and having trouble making a decision between the two.

How to use it: For example, if someone asks you, “Are you going to go to the movies tonight or stay in and watch a movie at home” you can say “I don’t know, I’m on the fence” if you still have not decided between the two.