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This is “straight from the horse’s mouth”. A Study of Idioms. LA.D.1.3.4.8.1. Index. Definition of Idiom Idiom examples Straight from the horse’s mouth Flash in the pan Down to the wire Show your true colors Face the music Assignment Different websites

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index
Index
  • Definition of Idiom
  • Idiom examples
    • Straight from the horse’s mouth
    • Flash in the pan
    • Down to the wire
    • Show your true colors
    • Face the music
  • Assignment
  • Different websites
  • You can begin the activity, leave it and return. To go to a specific section, simply click on the different index item.
  • To return to the index, after each slide you simply click on the horse’s picture.
an idiom can be defined as
An idiom can be defined as…

A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on.

What does that mean? Can you figure out what “Flash in the pan” means? No? Then it is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its elements.

straight from the horse s mouth
Straight from the horse’s mouth

What do you think it means?

Example: When asked how he learned that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were getting married, the National Inquirer reporter said, “Straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Definition: Directly from the source.

History: This is a boast of confidence from a racetrack tipster, who says he gets his information from the horses themselves—thereby assuring the bettor that the info is the correct.

flash in the pan
Flash in the pan

What do you think this means?

Example: Some people thought that Creed would be a “Flash in the pan” musically. Boy, were they wrong!

Definition: Something that shows great promise,

then disappoints by being over too quickly.

History: Flintlock muskets have small pans to hold the gunpowder fuse. Sometimes the gunpowder in the pan would flare up without firing the gun. That would be a "flash in the pan". 

down to the wire
Down to the wire

What do you think it means?

Example: When George Bush and Al Gore were running for reelection, the results were down to the wire.

Definition: Undecided until the end, at the last minute.

History: Refers to races where the winner is determined by whoever crosses the finish line first.  A string is stretched across the finish to help the judges see clearly who crosses first in a close race.  That string is called the wire or tape, the winner is the one who breaks the wire first. 

show your true colors
Show your true colors

What do you think it means?

Beth showed her true colors when she revealed she secretly enjoyed country music.

Definition: To reveal your true intentions, personality, or behaviors.

History: Early warships often carried flags from many nations on board in order to elude or deceive the enemy. The rules of civilized warfare called for all ships to hoist their true national ensigns before firing a shot. 

Someone who finally "shows his true colors" is acting like a warship which hails another ship flying one flag, but then hoisted their own when they got in firing range. 

face the music
Face the music

What do you think it means?

After she lied to her parents about her bad grades, Kim had to face the music when they found a copy of her report card.

Definition: To accept the truth.

History: Comes from the British military. When someone was court marshaled, there would be a military drum squad playing, hence face the music.

your assignment
Your assignment
  • 1. Search on the Internet and find a site with idioms that you understand and enjoy.
  • 2. Research and find three idioms that you have heard about.
  • 3. Write down the actual definition of this idiom, an example of how the idiom can be used, and the history of the idiom.
  • 4. Use each idiom in a new sentence.
  • 5. Share idioms with students.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

extra extra read all about it
Extra, Extra Read All About It
  • Can you think of any new idioms that are new to our history?
  • Example, “Boy, he went postal yesterday in Mrs. Capes’ classroom.”
  • Likely definition: Going crazy.
  • Likely history: When so many mail carriers were going crazy on the job, people began to say they were going “postal”.

Website examples

different websites you can use
Different websites you can use.
  • http://www.etanewsletter.com/idioms.shtml
  • http://members.aol.com/MorelandC/HaveOrigins.htm
  • http://members.tripod.com/~towerofenglish/idioms.html

What’s next?

let s share
Let’s Share!
  • Read each one of your idioms, give us a chance to figure out what it means, then share the definition, history and example.

Are we done yet?