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Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
Commonly used idioms, expressions, sayings, maxims, adages, cliches, and proverbs - PART 4

NOTE:  In my opinion, it is not necessary for an English learner to learn the definitions of idioms, expressions and sayings (as well as maxims, adages, cliches, and proverbs).  Frankly, I would call them all expressions and not worry about the specific definitions.

 The important things are that you:

1  hear/read them
2  recognize them and understand their meanings
3  use them if you feel confident that you are using them in the correct context (situations).



1. A word or expression that has lost much of its force through overexposure and overuse.

2. An expression lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition



Clichés are often idioms. Idioms are figurative phrases with an implied meaning; the phrase is not to be taken literally.



- Time will tell… This means that something will revealed or become clear over time

- In the nick of time… This means something happened just in time/at the last moment

- Opposites attract… This means that people who like different things and have different views are likely to fall in love or to become friends.

- Scared out of my wits… This describes being very frightened

- All is fair in love and war… This cliché stands for the premise that you can do whatever you have to in order to capture the heart of your lover

- Cat got your tongue?

- Fall head over heels

- Read between the lines

- Laughter is the best medicine

- Waking up on the wrong side of the bed

- Sent a shiver down my spine

- Heart-stopping fear

- I love you more than life itself

- And they all lived happily ever after

- We're not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you

- The quiet before the storm

19. Aug 2016 12:46
Comments · 4

Thank You @Laura for giving nice example and thanks for clearing my doubts:)I was close to its meaning as there is  also a phrase like this in my language.

Thank you@Richard for putting more light on it by giving a nice explanation, with  the origin of this phrase.

Thank you once again, both of you for correcting me:)

19. August 2016

Thank you Sudeep and Laura...

Laura, you explanations were very good. Here are a few more explanations:

"has the cat got your tongue?" means something you say to someone when you are annoyed/angry because the other person will not speak:  What's the matter? Has the cat got your tongue?

Origin: ... a witch's cat would steal the tongue of a person to prevent them from telling other people secrets. 

Sent a shiver down my spine means that something scared you and you felt like there was electricity going up an down your spine.

e.g., His writing/the movie sends shivers up and down my spine.

e.g., Whenever I hear that music, I feel a shiver down my spine.
19. August 2016

Some of the expressions above are the same in Spanish what makes things easier for me: Time will tell / Opposites attract / Cat got your tongue? and some of others you wrote. 

Sudeep :  

a) Cat got your tongue? This is something you would ask to someone who does not want to speak /answer a question you made. It is normally used with children. For instance: You meet the son of a friend of you and you ask him: "how are you?" and he does not answer you, so you just says to him "Cat got your tongue?"

b) Sent a shiver down my spine A sudden horror / fear. For instance: You have been a car's accident. A car runs over a pedestrian and this situation sends a shiver down your spine.

Richard will tell you better, at least these are the meanings in Spanish these sentences have. 

Thank you so much Richard for this discussions, they are really helpful to us.

19. August 2016

Thank you Richard for another nice lesson:)I've come across some of those words and even use them in day-to-day life but had no idea that they are called CLICHE. 

I didn't get the meaning of 2 of them

1-Cat got your tongue??-----does this mean like---I'm asking someone about an incident and he is not answering me,then at that time should I tell him--What happened??Cat got your tongue?   Am I right??

2-Sent a shiver down my spine---does it mean like extream and sudden feeling of fear??

Thank you:)

19. August 2016
Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language