An idiom is a phrase or sentence which has a specific meaning beyond that of the individual words that make it up. If we want to speak and write a language-any language-well, we must understand its idioms.
Idioms reflect not only the history of the development of a language but also the history and culture of its native speakers. The idioms in English come to us from many sources: from the world of plants and animals, from trade, occupations, food, history, folk customs and traditions, medicine, the weather, daily life, and much more.
In this section, common idioms in English are arranged in alphabetical order. A few American idioms have also been included to reflect the different ways in which English is used in our country today. To make it both instructive and fun, every idiom is presented along with its meaning, derivation or history, and a sample sentence to show how it is used in everyday language. Cartoons and lively illustrations help bring the idioms to life.