Idioms are groups of words with a special meaning that is quite different from the meaning of the individual words. For example, the idiom "to be on the ball" really has nothing to do with a ball or being on top of one. It means that someone is very industrious, intelligent and organized. For this reason, we can say that idioms’ meanings are opaque rather than transparent. Since idioms are widely used in English but their meanings are nearly impossible to guess or infer from context, we will spend time studying them in this class.


Each student will choose 2 to 3 idioms from different categories to present to the class. Your presentation should be no longer than 2 minutes. In your mini-presentation you will need to tell the class what the idiom means and provide a couple of example sentences that clearly illustrate the meaning of the idiom you are presenting. Feel free to ask a native speaker of English, except me, the meaning of your idiom. You may bring any visual aids that may help clarify the meaning or write short dramatic dialogues that help explain your idiom to the class. Idioms will be included on your midterm exam; therefore, you will need to make sure you present your idioms as clearly as possible so your classmates can understand. If you do not understand, please ask your classmates for further clarification.
Idioms with to be 
To be a cold fish 
To be all ears 
To be bummed out 
To be psyched 
To be in seventh heaven 
To be hot/a hottie 
To be put on the spot
Idioms from plants 
To bark up the wrong tree 
To beat around the bush 
In a nutshell 
The last straw 
To nip something in the bud 
Through the grapevine 
To turn over a new leaf
Idioms from people 
To go Dutch 
To keep up with the Joneses 
The real McCoy 
A jack-of-all-trades 
A yes man
Idioms from clothes 
To be in someone else’s shoes 
Dressed to kill 
To handle someone with kid gloves 
Hot under the collar 


Idioms from geography 
To go downhill 
To make a mountain out of a molehill 
Up the creek 
Down to earth
Idioms from color 
To white wash 
To black out 
To be the black sheep of the family 
Out of the blue 
In the red/in the black
Idioms from the weather 
Once in a blue moon 
A fair-weather friend 
Full of hot air 
A breeze 
To break the ice
Idioms from food 
To cream someone 
To go bananas 
A lemon 
A piece of cake