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American Idioms

A sample of what Americans speak everyday

By Rosangela C. Taylor

LEP 2010 All Rights Reserved


www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms

Foreword
A idia de escrever um e-book sobre expresses idiomticas em ingls surgiu da demanda pelo
assunto. Inspired by questions, and curious and dedicated English students, I started writing this minicollection of idioms based on research, and on its everyday use.
Quando eu pensei j ter material suficiente para uma amostra das expresses mais usadas por
americanos, I took a break and called a friend to have lunch. Este e-book j estava quase pronto,
faltando apenas este prefcio e a formatao final, e no dia seguinte seria divulgado aos assinantes
LEP.
I was amazed at how many more idioms I was able to collect, just by chatting with my friend at
lunch time! Maybe because my mind was so focused on idioms since I had started working on this
book, all those expressions seemed to pop up in front of me, from all over the place!
Interessante que quando voc est acostumado com a lngua, nem percebe o que est falando,
e nem percebe o que esto falando! It becomes second nature, as we say. As expresses vm to
natural no dia a dia que nem nos damos conta de que so expresses idiomticas! I took notes and
notes, came back to my office and started adding more to the list. Later on, talking to my husband I
was again noticing a few expressions that I was sure were not in this list. L fui eu novamente, anotar
mais informaes. Papel e caneta em todos os cantos, anotando tudo para no perder os insights! Isso
o que chamo de ingls vivo. Live English happens each moment here, and I make a point to send it to
you!
I have read somewhere that there are more than ten thousand idioms in English! I could never
count them, but I have come across a few hundred myself, and for what I have researched there are at
least three thousand idioms frequently used.
Would you like to have a handy book with more idioms than you have here? I am considering
publishing a bigger one, both online and offline. When printed, I think they are great bathroom
literature! If you like learning, you too might enjoy reading curiosities and light stuff like this, while
using that idle time sitting on the throne!

Espero que este e-book seja til pra voc. If not, let me know what could make it better, and I
will bust my tail for the next one!
Well, I don' want to chap your ass with a long foreword, so go ahead and have fun learning new
expressions!
Rosangela C. Taylor

LEP 2010

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American Idioms

How to Use this E-Book


Should you print an e-book or read it on the screen?
It's really up to you! Voc pode usar este volume direto em seu pc, deixando o arquivo aberto ou
um atalho na rea de trabalho, pronto para ser aberto quando voc quiser pesquisar uma certa
expresso.
Porm, considerando que esta uma mini-coleo e que no contm as dez mil expresses
existentes, muitas que voc procurar podem no estar aqui. What to do then?
A idia que este contedo possa transmitir informao a voc, trazendo um material extra de
leitura para ampliar seus conhecimentos de ingls; e no necessariamente ser um resultado infalvel
para suas pesquisas. Existem milhares de expresses idiomticas e a cada dia a lngua se altera, o que
torna a publicao deste assunto algo constante, e no limitada a um nico volume.
H assim duas maneiras (e talvez voc descubra outras) de como fazer um bom uso deste
contedo:

Atravs da pura leitura a ttulo de informao, tanto direto no seu pc quanto atravs do material
impresso; e

Por pesquisa de um termo, atravs de uma palavra qualquer que voc j conhea.

A sugesto que voc primeiro leia todo o livro, para ter uma idia do contedo. Eventualmente
voc poder querer saber o que significa chap your ass - e voc vai lembrar que j viu esta expresso
aqui (pois j fez uma primeira leitura do livro todo) mas talvez voc no lembre exatamente o que e
nem onde est. Ento voc abre o livro na tela e em ToolsBar voc digita uma palavra da expresso
(por exemplo: chap ou ass), no campo de busca (find). Todas as expresses contendo aquela
palavra sero achadas dentro do livro para voc.
Talvez voc queira saber qual aquela expresso equivalente a no vejo a hora - e voc sabe
que j viu isto aqui. Ento voc coloca no campo de busca hora - and at the drop of a hat you have it
in English!
E, caso voc no encontre neste livro as expresses que procura, sugiro que voc envie suas
dvidas para ask@ liveenglishprogram.com colocando no ttulo do email expresses idiomticas.
Ask, and Ye Shall Receive!
Have fun learning!
RCT

LEP 2010

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American Idioms

A Few Words About These Words


An idiom is also a figure of speech. Expresses idiomticas so frases simblicas, significando
algo alm da definio lexical contida em cada palavra. Podem ser provrbios, ditos populares, phrasal
verbs, a at algumas grias. Por exemplo, a expresso as crazy as a loon is a slang, too. A loon is a
Northern Hemisphere bird who eats fish and has a loud and strange cry. Because of its sound, which
reminds of something crazy, comes the slang loon for crazy. And the idiom, as crazy as a loon.
O significado das expresses idiomticas so fundamentados mais em conotao do que em
denotao (contexto x definio). Por isso muitas expresses no podem ser traduzidas literalmente.
Por exemplo, a expresso a vaca foi pro brejo perde o sentido se for traduzida the cow went
to the swamp, because in English this means nothing! There is no symbolic origin in a cow who went
to the swamp. What does that mean, after all?
Esta a questo: o que significa?, qual a histria, ou a mensagem, por trs desse smbolo?
Em portugus, a mensagem atrs da vaca que foi pro brejo tem histria nas reas rurais. Diz-se
que, embora raro, se uma vaca caminhar at o pntano ela se atola e no consegue sair de l. Morre de
inanio, ou se afoga se continuar afundando. Isso gera perda ao fazendeiro, arruinando seus negcios.
Ento o fato virou figura de linguagem para simbolizar uma situao de perda, declnio, insucesso.
J em ingls, essa perda no seria simbolizada pela vaca no brejo, mas sim por outro fato mais
prprio da cultura neste caso, a britnica que so as corridas de ces. No incio do sec. XX a
expresso it went to the dogs foi usada para simbolizar uma situao de runa ou deteriorao,
historicamente ligada s corridas dos ces Greyhound (onde possivelmente muitos apostadores perdiam
grandes somas, arruinando-se financeiramente). Uma origem mais antiga que essa est no fato de jogar
aos ces a comida que no apropriada aos humanos (principalmente no passado, quando no se
tratava ces com rao e cuidados especiais). O 'resto' ou o 'estragado', visto como uma perda de
recursos, ia para os ces. Thus, it goes to the dogs symbolizes decay and ruin; like the poor cow
stuck in the swamp.
Another example: I've asked Joe where we are going to spend our vacation, but he keeps
beating around the bush. Batendo ao redor da moita (traduo literal pssima!) - no significa
nada em portugus! BUT, if I say, Joe fica enrolando/ no vai direto ao ponto, then we are talking!
The phrase "beating around the bush" has its origin in an old hunting technique. Hunters would
hide from the prey and beat the bushes to get the animal scared and running out of its hiding place. This
way the hunter wouldn't be face to face with the animal, neither would let it escape. Beating around
the bush was a way to enrolar, to not be direct, until the right time to act.
English is a cool language, isn't it? Or course it's difficult sometimes, and the learning process is
eternal. And fun! Just remember: constant dripping hollows out a stone!

RCT

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
A card up your sleeve (or to have) an
Ace up your sleeve.
She is so confident about the whole
situation... She must have a card up her
sleeve.

A plan or idea that you are keeping to


use at the right time. To have something
that will give you an advantage that
other people don't know about.
Uma carta na manga. Uma vantagem
secreta,

He knows how to get the promotion. He


has an Ace up his sleeve.
A mountain out of a molehill

To make something minor into a major


issue

Air travel is not that bad... you are making Fazer tempestade num copo d'gua
a mountain out of a molehill.
Obs: mole toupeira (o animal)
molehill o tufo de terra que esse
animal faz.
Achilles' heel

A person's weak spot.

Never invite Charles to swim. It's his


Achilles' heel.

Calcanhar-de-Aquiles

Ahead of the pack

If you are ahead of the pack you've made


more progress than the others.

Of course Melinda graduated and her


friends didn't. She has been always ahead
of the pack.
frente, com vantagem
Air dirty laundry in public

To make your personal life aspects


become public.

She likes to air her dirty laundry in


public, and now the whole town is
knowing about her weird deeds.

Similar expresso roupa suja se lava em


casa, mas neste caso, a expresso afirma
que est sendo lavada (aerada) em
pblico, e no em casa.

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
All bets are off

There is a change in the situation, caused


by one single fact. Rules can be canceled.

Jane didn't show up. Nobody knows


what's going to happen now. All bets are
off .

As regras do jogo podem mudar, e tudo


possvel.

All that and then some

Even more than what has been


mentioned.

He did all that and then some to get the


promotion.

Tudo e mais um pouco

And all that jazz

Everything related or similar included.

Mom said that I should lock the door, lock Todo um conjunto de coisas.
the windows, set the alarm, water the
plants, and all that jazz just because she
would be out of town for one day!
Ants in your pants (to have ants in your To be nervous or restless
pants)
Estar inquieto, agitado
Be quiet! What's up with you? Do you
have ants in your pants?
Around the clock

24 hours a day

The hospitals are open around the clock.

Direto, sem parar de funcionar.

As busy as a bee

Indeed, very busy

I've been busy as a bee lately!


As cool as a cucumber

Very calm and relaxed

Even after the fight, he remained cool as a


cucumber.

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
As crazy as a loon

Very crazy

She's as crazy as a loon. You will have fun loon uma ave mergulhadora que emite
meeting her!
um som alto e estridente.
As happy as a clam

Very happy and content

Sam is as happy as a clam living in


Portugal.

Mariscos so quietos em suas conchas e,


aparentemente, este um simbolo de
contentamento.

At the drop of a hat

Immediately

Don't worry! If the phone rings I'll


answer it at the drop of a hat!

Num piscar de olhos.

Bark up the wrong tree

To defend a lost cause, or to believe


something that is not true or
appropriate.

I don't want to bark up the wrong tree.


This case is not going to be a winner and I
am leaving it.
Defender uma causa ou idia no
The cops insisted that those guys were the promissora, ou no verdadeira.
thieves. But they were not! The cops were
barking up the wrong tree.

Be with it

To be up-to-date

This is a lot of information to read, but we Estar atualizado


must be with it!
Beating around the bush

Being vague, evasive, not getting to the


point.

He wants to quit his job but he's not


comfortable talking about that. He keeps
beating around the bush until the boss
takes the initiative.

LEP 2010

Ficar enrolando num assunto ou atividade,


para evitar comprometimento.

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American Idioms
Bent out of shape

To be worked up, upset, distressed


about something.

She received a parking ticket of $10 and


got all bent out of shape.

Nervosa, irritada.

Bet the farm (or ranch)

To risk everything you have because


you're certain of the good results.

I bet the farm he's missing me and he'll


call sooner or later.

Ter tanta certeza sobre alguma coisa que


poderia apostar/arriscar tudo.

Black list

To be in someone's black list is to be low


in their consideration

You are in my black list now, after what


you have said about me!
Break even

Lista negra.
To make no profits nor lose any money
in a deal.

I bought the house for U$130.000,00, and


two years later I sold it for
Empatar. Ficar na mesma num negcio,
US$128.000,00. I had a good use out of it. sem lucros ou perdas.
No profits, no losses. I broke even.
Break wind (or pass gas)

To fart. To release those unpleasant


physiologic gases.

We all pass gas, but Joe's favorite game is


to break wind in the elevator. And he
Soltar os gases intestinais!
leaves it, of course!
Buckle down

To give complete attention to doing


something

I need to buckle down on my studies.

Focalizar, dar ateno

Buckle up

To fasten a safety belt.

I received a fine because I was not


buckled up.

Usar o cinto de segurana

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
Burn the candle at both ends

To work from early in the morning until


very late in the night.

She is burning the candle at both ends,


and this is not healthy! She needs a break! Trabalhar por horas e horas a fio.
Burn your bridges

To destroy any connection to what was


done before.

I never burn my bridges.

Fechar as portas, no sentido figurado.

Bust my tail / butt / ass ('butt' is more


vulgar than 'tail' and 'ass' is more vulgar
than 'butt')

Work hard and make big efforts.

I busted my tail to help you, and are you


telling me that what I did was nothing?

Bust your chops

Ralar o couro. Trabalhar que nem um


escravo, um louco, ou um cachorro.

To give someone a hard time; to tease or


harass someone (very often, in a playful
way).

Don't take me seriously.... I am just


busting your chops!

Tirar um sarro, encher o saco de algum


com brincadeiras e provocaes.

Butterflies in your stomach (to have...)

To have a feeling of anxiety, be nervous.

Every time when I see him, I have


butterflies in my stomach. Is this love?

A sensao de ter o estmago


desmanchando, ou mole, causada por forte
emoo. Homens normalmente no usam
esta expresso.

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
Buy a pig in a poke

To buy something without evaluating the


pros and cons.

He lost all his money again in that old car. Algo como comprar um porco no
cutuco - ou seja, a maneira errada de
That's his way, he buys a pig in a poke
avaliar um porco para compra.
and then regrets later.

By heart (to know something by heart)

To know all the details; memorize it.

Do you know the past tenses of the


irregular verbs in English by heart?

Saber de cr.

Can't see the forest for the trees.

To be too focused on details and miss the


big picture.

If you keep looking only at the problems,


you won't find the solution! You can't see
the forest for the trees! Open up your
view!
Cash cow

No se pode ter uma viso geral das coisas


a partir de um foco estreito.

A good, and often easy, way to make


money

Wow, this new store is a cash cow! I have


never made so much money in my life!

Mquina de dinheiro.

Caught with your hand in the cookie jar To be caught doing something wrong.
I caught him with his hand in the cookie
jar! He was opening my mail!!!

LEP 2010

Pego com a boca na botija; pego em


flagrante

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American Idioms
Cold feet (to get cold feet)

To become frightened about something


that you have to do and change your
mind about doing it.

John got cold feet at the last minute, and


canceled the wedding.

To get cold feet significa amarelar.


Mudar de idia e desistir de um projeto
(geralmente por medo ou insegurana).
Obs: sentido totalmente diferente de ter p
frio em portugus, o que siginifica ter
pouca sorte.

Constant dripping hollows out a stone


Water dropping day by day wears the
hardest rock away.

Persistence ultimately wins


gua mole em pedra dura tanto bate at
que fura.

Cry wolf

To give false alarm of a situation

Neighbors said to watch out for tornado,


but they were just crying wolf.

Advertir sobre um falso perigo, ou dar falso


alarme.

Dark horse

To be a candidate little known to the


public, and not expected to win.

That politician was a dark horse, but so


smart that he became the mayor!

Do not look a gift horse in the mouth

Candidato desconhecido para um cargo


poltico.

Do not complain if a gift is not perfect

I am happy with this new free apartment. I Cavalo dado no se olha os dentes.
don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
Dog eat dog

Situation in which people act ruthlessly


in order to be successful

To work in this company is stressful.


Nobody helps anybody and all what I see
is dogs eating dogs.

Disputa impiedosa, onde um aniquila o


outro em prol do prprio sucesso.

Dressed to kill

To be beautifully and fashionably


dressed.

Yes, I'll attend that party... and I'll be


dressed to kill.

Ter um visual arrasante.

Eager beaver

To be a person who is always happy to


work or do something extra

I am an eager beaver, as long as the sun is Algum sempre disposto e pronto para
fazer as coisas.
shining!

Scapegoat

Something or someone to be blamed in


place of something else.

Louise didn't commit the crime, but she


was the scapegoat in the novel, so Frank
could remain free and build up the
cliffhanger.

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry

Everyone without discrimination;


common people

I've told her that it was a secret, but she


told every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Fit like a glove

Bode expiatrio. Algo/algum que


sacrificado, ou assume a culpa, em nome
de outrem.

Todo o mundo e mais algum.

Something that fits perfectly something


else.

This new job I've gotten fits like a glove to


my schedule! I only work four hours per Cair como uma luva
day and have the rest of the time to do all
my other stuff!

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
From top to bottom

Completely, thoroughly

Yes, I understood everything. From top to


bottom.

De todas as formas, completamente.

Get on your high horse

To behave with arrogance

Don't get on your high horse, my dear,


Estar cheia dos saltos altos
just because you make more money than I
do.

Get something off your chest

To tell something important, but difficult


to say

Thank you for listening to me! I really


needed to get this off my chest!

Desabafar

Get the short end of the stick

To receive the smallest share or worst


position

John got the short end of the stick when


he decided to divorce Mary, but he's
recovering now.

Ficar com o osso, levar desvantagem.

Get under someone's skin

a) to annoy or upset someone; or b) to


affect someone so strongly that the
person cannot forget you.

a) This horrible song gets under my skin.


b) You are totally under my skin! I can't
stop thinking of you!

a) dar nos nervos


b) causar grande impresso num
envolvimento afetivo.

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American Idioms
Give the cold shoulder

To treat someone in an unfriendly


manner

Of course I give her the cold shoulder!


She doesn't deserve my attention!

Desprezar, tratar com indiferena

Give/get the runaround

To give or receive a series of excuses,


delays, etc.

The lawyers don't want to work on the


case and all what they do is give me the
runaround.

Dar/receber desculpas e atrasos em


situaes, principalmente burocrticas.

Go back to square one

When you have to start all mover again

I messed up my whole plan, now I have to Voltar estaca zero


go back to square one.

Happen behind your back

Something that happens without your


knowledge, or when you are absent.
Secretly.

Weird things were told about Mary,


behind her back. That was not nice!

Falar por trs (de algum), como uma


fofoca ou comentrios em segredo.

Hit below the belt

To insult someone in an unfair way

They were having a heated argument and Chutar baixo (figurativamente). Um golpe
the boss hit below the belt, saying that Mr. baixo.
Knox was worthless!

Hold your horses

To wait, be patient

I told you: hold your horses the right


time is coming.

Segure as feras; v devagar com o andor.

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American Idioms
I can't wait to....

To express anticipation and desire to


have something soon

I can't wait to be on vacation again!


No vejo a hora, ou mal posso esperar...
In mint condition

Pristine, in great condition

This is an old car, but it's in mint


condition!

Em perfeito estado (de conservao).

In nothing flat;
In no time

Immediately, very quickly

I'll print this for you in nothing flat.


Adam finished his work in no time!

Sem demora, num instante, em dois


palitos.

In the doghouse

In trouble with someone

I've put my husband in the doghouse after Similar a estar/pr de castigo, de forma
he gave up on our vacation to Mexico.
figurada.
In the long run

Eventually, after a period of time

If you keep practicing, in the long run


you'll be good at that.

eventualmente, com o tempo

It costs an arm and a leg

It is very expensive.

No way! I am not buying this table! It


costs an arm and a leg!

Custa o olho da cara

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American Idioms
Jack of all trades

Someone who is always ready and is


good in performing any kind of job.

I have a friend who is a Jack of all trades. Pau para toda obra.
He can build a house, make furniture, fish,
hunt, cook, sing, play saxophone and
build a boat!

Kiss my ass

Vulgar expression, also a slang, used


when you are angry at someone and
don't care about what he/she thinks.

Oh, so you don't like what I am doing?


Kiss my ass!
Kiss up to (noun and verb)

To act or say something to please


someone in order to get something back.

She keeps kissing up to me, but I am not


going to invite her to the party.

Puxar o saco;
Puxa-saco, bajulador.

Kiss ass (ass kisser is who kisses ass)


(vulgar)
John is an ass kisser. All what he wants is
that promotion, but that's not the way he'll
get it.

Learning curve
This is all very difficult and I've made
several mistakes, but the coach says it's a
learning curve and I should not worry
about that.
Let sleeping dogs lie

Period of learning when experiences take


place and are sometimes unpleasant, but
natural to the learning process.
Parte do processo (de aprendizagem).

It means not to stir up old conflicts or


provoke an argument over unresolved
issues.

Of course I won't mention the fight we had


in 1990! I let sleeping dogs lie!
Deixar quieto (um assunto, rusgas
passadas)

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
Let the cat out of the bag

To tell something that is supposed to be a


secret

The cat is out of the bag now: everybody


knows you won the lottery!

O segredo foi descoberto.

Live high off the hog

To have the best of everything

To live high off the hog is everybody's


dream!

Ter vida de rei.

Lose your shirt

To lose all or most of your money

I lost my shirt on that deal!

Perder tudo, ir falncia, de forma


figurada.

My cup of tea

My favorite thing

Cross-country skiing is not my cup of tea! Minha praia

Not all there

Not intelligent, not completely focused


on an activity

I think Pamela is not all there. She needs


some help urgently.

Algum que no est completamente em


si, ou concentrado.

Off the cuff

Without planning or rehearsing.

What a great show! And they did it all off De improviso.


the cuff! They are very talented!

On the fence

When you don't make up your mind

Paul is a good friend, but he's always on


the fence, never decides anything when I
ask his opinion about things.

Ficar em cima do muro. No tomar partido


algum, ficar indeciso.

LEP 2010

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American Idioms
On the spur of the moment

In the last minute, something unplanned

I like to do things on the spur of the


moment. It's more fun!

De improviso, de ltima hora

Once and for all

Finally (usually putting an end to


something)

I'm going to stop this dog from barking once and for all!

Open secret

De uma vez por todas

Something that is supposedly a secret,


but that everyone knows

You think people don't know what is going


on with you and Paul, but it's an open
Algo que j caiu na boca do povo um
secret now!
open secret

Pat on the back

To praise someone for a job well done

I am so proud of my work that I had to pat Dar uns tapinhas nas costas
myself on the back!
(figurativamente ou no), como
cumprimentos de aprovao.

Pull something out of a hat

To get something as if by magic or


without any effort

I don't know how Adriana can pull a trip


out of a hat every week!

Pull the strings


She is pulling the strings in order to get
that promotion.

LEP 2010

Fazer mgica para conseguir as coisas de


forma fcil.

To manipulate a situation in order to get


the desired results.
Mexer os pauzinhos, dar um jeito

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American Idioms
Put on airs

Act superior or snobbish

Sue is putting on airs now, just because


she bought this brand new car.

Esnobar, dar uma de metida/o

Saved by the bell

Saved or freed from a tricky situation,


just in time.

He didn't want to talk to Mary and she


was coming to the bus stop. But he was
Salvo pelo gongo
saved by the bell his bus arrived right at
that moment!
Say when

Expression used when you are serving


someone and want them to tell you when
to stop.

- Would you like more soup?


- Yes, please!
- Say when... (while you are filling the
Fala quando chega.
bowl)
- That's good! Thank you! (she says, when
she wants you to stop serving. She could
also say, That's enough, thank you!)
Second nature

An acquired behavior that is practiced so


long it seems innate

To speak English is like driving: with


practice it becomes second nature.

Inato

Send someone packing

Send someone away; abruptly dismiss


someone.

I'll send you packing if you keep bugging


me!

Livrar-se de algum de forma rude,


dispensar abruptamente.

Skin-deep

Only on the surface, superficial

Her good will is only skin-deep. She just


does good deeds when she wants
something back.

Superficial

LEP 2010

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www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms
Skinny-dip

To swim without wearing any clothes.

Yesterday I went skinny-dipping in Lake


Michigan!

Mergulhar pelado/a. Fazer um mergulho


n.

Smell a rat

To be suspicious of someone or
something

Hmmm... I smell a rat in this story.... Is he Isto no est me cheirando bem (quando se
desconfia de uma situao)
telling you the truth?

Smooth sailing

An easy situation.

The transition between careers has been a Como a brisa.


smooth sailing for me.

Spill the beans

Reveal a secret

I can't believe it! How could you spill the Deixar vazar (um segredo)
beans? That was a secret!!
Stab someone in the back

To say or do something unfair that hurts


a friend or someone who trusts you

After all the support he gave to her, she


ended up stabbing him in the back in that
business.

LEP 2010

Apunhalar pelas costas

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www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms
Start from scratch

Start from the very beginning without


skipping phases. Build something from
the most basic parts.

I know this will work! I just have to start


from scratch and follow the instructions.

Comear de baixo, comear do zero.

I made this cake from scratch. It's not a


cake mix!

Start off on the wrong foot

To have a bad start; to begin with a bad


feeling.

I started off on the wrong foot today!


First, I got up late; then there was no
coffee; it was raining....

Levantar com o p esquerdo.

Take the bull by the horns

To take decisive action

Now I am taking the bull by the horns! I


will quit this job and will become a gypsy
I'll travel the whole world!

Enfrentar a fera, tomar uma deciso e agir.

Take the edge off (the hunger);


Tide (you) over

To make hunger (or a situation) less


severe;
To have a temporary resolution (for
hunger or other situations)

Dinner is not ready yet, but eat some


cheese to take the edge off.

Enganar o estmago;
This sandwich will tide us over until lunch Ter uma soluo temporria.
time.
Mary has lent me 50 bucks. That will tide
me over until my next paycheck.

LEP 2010

-page 21 -

www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms
The shoemaker's daughter (or son) goes Indicates that when someone does
barefoot
something very well as a professional, he
or she lacks the time or condition to
Sandra is a great sewer but doesn't have apply the same skill in their own
time for her own dresses. You know... the personal life.
shoemaker's daughter goes barefoot.
Casa de ferreiro, espeto de pau.
The straw that broke the camel's back
The whole group was difficult to deal
with, but the leader's attitude was the
straw that broke the camel's back. So, I
decided to resign.

One little addition of something that


causes the whole complex to collapse.
A gota d'gua.

The whole (kit and) caboodle

Everything

You can buy one product every month, or


the whole (kit and) caboodle at the same
time.

Todo o conjunto, toda a parafernlia.

Tickle someone's fancy

To be of interest, or cause interest

Do you prefer to stay home? Ok!


Whatever tickles your fancy.

Agradar, ser de interesse

Tie the knot

Get married

Paul and Sue are going to tie the knot next


month. Are you invited for their wedding?

LEP 2010

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www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms
Tighten your belt

To live on less money

This is the time when American people are Economizar, conter os gastos
tightening their belts again.

To be born with a silver spoon in the


mouth;
To be born under a lucky star

Said about someone who has had money


and success because of his origins.
Nascer em bero de ouro

She doesn't know what is to be in need.


She was born with the silver spoon in her
mouth.

To put the cart before the horse

To be anxious, doing things in the wrong


order.

Pam is so excited that she's putting the


cart before the horse. She already bought Pr a carroa na frente dos bois.
a new car and she hasn't received her first
salary yet!

To take something with a grain of salt

Do not believe it completely

My trainer is very good, but everything he No aceitar um fato como verdade


says I take with a grain of salt.
absoluta. Ser um tanto ctico.

Turn your back on

To refuse to help someone in trouble or


need

Most people turn their backs on the city's


problems, and then they complain about
the lack of improvements.

LEP 2010

Dar as costas, desprezar

-page 23 -

www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms
Turn your stomach

To make you feel sick to your stomach;


to have nausea.

Korean people eat monkey's brains. That


turns my stomach!

Revirar o estmago

Use it, or lose it!

It means use your skills (mind and body)


or you'll lose them.

My 80 year old neighbor is learning


Chinese and she goes to the gym every
other day. She's right! Use it, or lose it!

Se no usar, atrofia

When hell freezes over

To say that something will never happen.

Yes, I'll go on a date with Jeremy... When


hell freezes over!

Equivalente ao Dia de So Nunca

When pigs fly

To say that something will never happen

Sure I will lend you money! When pigs


fly!

Quando o galo criar dentes

Zero in (on something or someone)

To concentrate, to direct attention to one


point

Among all these tasks I have to perform,


there is one that I really need to zero in
on: how to manage my schedule.

Concentrar, focalizar, dar mais ateno at


que o objetivo seja alcanado.

The cops are zeroing in on getting the


suspects arrested.

LEP 2010

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www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms

About LEP
LEP originally Live English Program, started in 2006 as an online service providing e-lessons
to English students, through e-mails and voice over Skype. In 2008 it gained a website
www.liveenglishprogram.com and the demand increased so much that the Skype classes had to stop
and the individual e-mail lessons became LEP-Nuts distributed to subscribers and archived on the
website.
Since 2008 LEP has been growing so much that it became necessary to find a new home for it:
a new server and host, with more potential to handle its increasing traffic. For this transition and
improvement, LEP is changing it's name and website domain from Live English Program to Learning
English Process. The short name LEP will remain, since we are all used to this acronym now!
The Live English core of LEP remains alive, and LEP still offers programs. Only that now it's
more and better!
The new LEP website will be up and running soon. Meanwhile, LEP-Nuts keep going to your
inbox, and your questions and suggestions keep coming to LEP's inbox.
LEP's main mission is not to teach English as it's done in regular classes. Neither Rosangela is a
regular English teacher. LEP is an ESL Coaching Service, and Rosangela is the English as Second
Language Coach. What does that mean?
It means that she is your trainer and LEP is the source where you find your tools, the guidance
and the means to practice your English. It's not a regular English course. It's a learning source.
Learning is a process and LEP facilitates it for you.
Stay tuned and soon you will learn more details about the immersion program and the whole
kit and caboodle. For now, remember to have fun while you are learning, because if you don't, your
brains will have a hard time assimilating what you learn.
Believe me! Been there, done that! -- oops, here is one more idiom, it's been overused by
Americans and it's already worn out. It's considered a clich, and I don't like using it I just used it
now so you can learn it!

RCT

LEP 2010

-page 25 -

www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

American Idioms

Who's the Girl Behind the Scenes?


Rosangela Cricci Taylor is an English lover, having several other love-affairs: Spanish, Italian,
German, French, and Portuguese, of course! She was Brazilian until she was 30 years old, then she
became half American when married her American husband. Since she left Brazil she has lived in the
British Virgin Islands, Italy, Germany, and USA. In college, Rosangela's major was English and
Portuguese, with specialization in translation and interpretation. She doesn't like to translate, though
it's too boring for her dynamic personality. She prefers to create and share, so she became a writer. She
writes non-fiction (all LEP's material, website content, articles...); she writes poems; and she's trying
her hand at fiction, writing a novel that is so far stuck in the second chapter.
Rosangela provides free ESL coaching through her LEP website, and she is also writing a LEP
book. She has been an ESL student for so many years that she can help others succeed by avoiding the
pitfalls she couldn't avoid when she was in their shoes. Many people ask why she does all this work
for free, like answering questions, giving explanations, giving away e-lessons, e-books and so on. She
does what she does for love. Of course she has to pay bills, too... and there are parts of her work that
require compensation; but her motto is do it with love, or don't do it at all.
RCT has volunteered as English tutor at The Literacy Council, in Rockford, Illinois, tutoring
American adults who don't know how to read and write in English; and she's also the editor and
webmaster for The Rockford Writers' Guild.
She lives in Rockford, near Chicago, with her husband Andrew. She loves to dance, drink wine,
eat, cook, and to have lots of fun! She loves challenges, roller coasters, Disney World, summer, and
open-minded and happy people.
Now she is trying to learn how to play the drums... She says that's worse than learning German
from Chinese... well, but she hasn't gotten to the Chinese yet. Maybe it will be her next challenge!
Oh, yeah... I forgot to say, she is NUTs, too!

LEP

lep@liveenglishprogram.com

3821 E. State Street, # 174


Rockford, Illinois 61108 USA
www.LiveEnglishProgram.com

+ 55 (11) 3717-5090 (So Paulo)

LEP 2010

On Skype: rose-blue-moon

-page 26 -

www.LiveEnglishProgram.com