Where Do They Come From? The Origins of Four Popular English Idioms

Sometimes when I am in class teaching a grammar point or vocabulary, or just having a class discussion, I find myself using idioms or expressions that are common to me but obviously not to a non-native ESL learner. As I notice the confused looks on my students’ faces I suddenly realize that the expression that I so nonchalantly just forced upon them has to be explained. But the strange phenomenon about English idioms is that most native English speakers have no idea what their actual origin is.

Sometimes when I am in class teaching a grammar point or vocabulary, or just having a class discussion, I find myself using idioms or expressions that are common to me but obviously not to a non-native ESL learner. As I notice the confused looks on my students’ faces I suddenly realize that the expression that I so nonchalantly just forced upon them has to be explained. But the strange phenomenon about English idioms is that most native English speakers have no idea what their actual origin is.

Sometimes when I am in class teaching a grammar point or vocabulary, or just having a class discussion, I find myself using idioms or expressions that are common to me but obviously not to a non-native ESL learner. As I notice the confused looks on my students’ faces I suddenly realize that the expression that I so nonchalantly just forced upon them has to be explained. But the strange phenomenon about English idioms is that most native English speakers have no idea what their actual origin is.

Sometimes when I am in class teaching a grammar point or vocabulary, or just having a class discussion, I find myself using idioms or expressions that are common to me but obviously not to a non-native ESL learner. As I notice the confused looks on my students’ faces I suddenly realize that the expression that I so nonchalantly just forced upon them has to be explained. But the strange phenomenon about English idioms is that most native English speakers have no idea what their actual origin is.

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