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IDIOMS are the flesh and blood of a language, and grammatical usage is its skeleton. They give language its vitality, its everyday appropriateness and supplement the study of formal grammar. They are a part of the framework that supports language. It has been said that language without idioms is like a man who cannot smile.

An idiom is an expression which does not mean what it literally says. It is difficult for non-native speakers of the language to understand idioms. However, there are ways to unlock their meaning by understanding their associations and by analyzing them in relation to their context.

For example, when you do something outstanding, a friend might say, “I take my hat off to you.” Your friend might not be wearing a hat, but considering that you have done something highly admirable, we can say that he admires and respects you. Thus to “take one’s hat off” expresses admiration and respect.

Now that you have broken the ice there’s no reason why you can’t go along with the text and do your level best to turn the trick; that is, if you have got what it takes.

OK. Today, our challenge is to write a poem using idiomatic expressions and to help you a bit I have listed below some of them I have encountered / read / heard from books / magazines / news / journals / etc. with their corresponding suggested meanings:

  • put their heads together  =  consult one another
  • set one’s face against  =  resist strongly
  • take a breath  =  pause
  • turn the tables  =  reverse action
  • get wind of  =  hear some news
  • go a long way  =  be sufficient
  • bear in mind  =  remember
  • keep a person in the dark  =  conceal something from someone
  • touch bottom  =  be in adversity
  • lay up for a rainy day  =  save for a future need
  • bull session  =  informal discussion
  • burn the candle at both ends  =  spend excessively long hours in work or play without rest
  • carry a torch for  =  suffer conspicuously from unreturned love
  • cast sheep’s eyes at  =  look lovingly at
  • a lot of cheek  =  impertinent
  • chip off the old block  =  an offspring who closely resembles his father
  • bill and coo  =  express affection with gestures and words
  • bitter pill to swallow  =  a humiliating disappointment
  • blow hot and cold  =  be inconsistent
  • blow one’s trumpet  =  praise oneself
  • bouquet of orchids  =  praise
  • peter out  =  dwindle
  • pull the wool over one’s eyes  =  deceive one
  • pull one’s leg  =  tease one
  • put on airs  =  assume superiority
  • put one’s foot in one’s mouth  =  make an embarrassing error
  • rack one’s brains  =  concentrate deeply
  • rain cats and dogs  =  rain hard
  • catch one red-handed  =  catch one at some wrongdoing
  • live within one’s means  =  not to spend more than one’s income
  • bite off more than you can chew  =  attempt more than you can do
  • bog down  =  be completely stopped in one’s work
  • break even  =  neither gain nor lose
  • clean slate  =  unsmeared record

You can pick two or more or if there is none that fits your taste you are allowed to use or add any of your own idiomatic expressions. My name is Kelvin and I am your host for today’s weekly segment of Poetics. To formally start allow me to state first how this will work:

  • Write your poem (using the topic / prompt suggested) and post it to your blog
  • Click on the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name and URL and click enter.
  • This is also where you will find the list of those that have also joined in—visit others, read, comment, meet new people—let people know what you think of their verse.
  • Feel free to share your link and a link to dVerse using the social media of your choice.
  • …and lastly, of course (the golden rule), smiles…