English idioms about the human body

Posted on 03. Mar, 2015 by in English Vocabulary

The human body.

Image by William Creswell
on Flickr.com.

Let’s look at some idioms in English that go from head to toe. Here is our first one! “From head to toe” is an idiom that means ‘from the top to the bottom’ or ‘the entirety of something.’

To have a little fun with this I want you to try and guess which body parts go with which idioms. First try to match the body parts listed on the left with the idioms listed on the right. Then look below and you will see a list of theses idioms, correctly matched, and what each of them means.

First, give it a go!

1. ears            a. cold ______________
2. feet            b. sweet ______________
3. heart         c. all _______________
4. head          d. to pull one’s _______________
5. hair            e. pat on the _______________
6. back           f. rule of ______________
7. leg              g. to let one’s ______________ down
8. thumb       h. to be in over one’s _______________
9. tooth          i. cry your ____________ out



Okay, now let’s get our body parts in order, here are how these idioms should be matched up.

all ears – This means that someone is fully listening.
Example: John was all ears when he heard there was prize money to be won.

cold feet – This is a way of describing nervous feelings that happen just before a big event.
Example: I always get cold feet before having to go on stage and give a speech.

to cry your heart out – This means to cry very hard.
For example: Sally was crying her heart out over her ex-boyfriend.

to get (something) off (one’s) chest – This means to tell someone your problems or your secrets.
Example: Andrew had to get the news of his chest, or he thought he’d go crazy.

to be in over (one’s) head – This describes a person that is taking big risks or taking on tasks that they probably can’t handle.
Example: The new employee was in over her head with her first project, but she was to proud to ask for help.

to let (one’s) hair down – This is a way of saying, to relax or have fun.
Example: Let’s go to the beach and let our hair down for the day.

to pat on the back – This means to recognize or give thanks to someone.
Example: Sam got a pat on the back from the teacher for his wonderful project.

to pull one’s leg – This is another way of saying, ‘joking’ or ‘teasing’ someone.
Example: I didn’t realize Tony was pulling my leg when he first started telling the story, but pretty soon it got too outrageous and I figured what was going on.

rule of thumb – This is another way of saying something is a basic or well known rule.
Example: As a rule of thumb I don’t pick up hitchhikers.

sweet tooth – This is a way of saying that someone has a love of sugar or sweet things.
Example:I have a strong sweet tooth.

Which of these idioms are you going to try and use this week?

1-c; 2-a; 3-i; 4-h; 5-g; 6-e; 7-d; 8-f 9-b

Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston

Posted on 26. Feb, 2015 by in Culture, Travel

Freedom Trail map.

Freedom Trail map.

Join us for a short video tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston – home to 16 historic sites and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

YouTube Preview Image

“In Boston, you can walk the 2.5 mile-long Freedom Trail across downtown and visit 16 historic sites. Start in Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States. Here, you can see the Frog Pond, Brewer Fountain, and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Across the street is the Massachusetts State House. You can also see the Shaw Memorial dedicated to the 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment in the Civil War. Nearby is another icon – the Park Street Church.

Keep walking to the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place for many American patriots such as: Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Ben Franklin’s parents. You can walk the trail yourself or join a tour.

The next stop is the King’s Chapel, an 18th-century National Historic Landmark. This was the first Anglican church built in colonial New England during the reign of King James II. It was designed by America’s first architect, Peter Harrison.

Nearby is the Old City Hall, which was also home to the Boston Latin School. Outside is a statue of Ben Franklin, as well as one of a donkey – symbol of the Democratic Party. The Old South Meeting House was the largest building in colonial Boston and stage for some of the most important events leading up to the American Revolution.

The Old State House was the center of political life in colonial Boston. It was here that the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was given. Just outside, the Boston Massacre occurred on March 5 1770.Nowadays, the Bostonian Society runs the Boston history museum here. Head inside to browse the many informative exhibits.

Historic Faneuil Hall has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742, and it’s often referred to as the “Cradle of Liberty.” Head in Quincy Market, where you can choose from a variety of vendors to sample some of Boston’s fresh seafood, including the famed clam chowdah. Our final stop is the Paul Revere House, once home to the legendary patriot. There are no photos allowed inside, so you’ll just have to go see for yourself!”

The Redwoods: Old trees filled with wonder

Posted on 24. Feb, 2015 by in Travel

Redwood trees.

The Coastal Redwoods of California.
Image by wolf4max on Flickr.com.

There are perhaps no trees more amazing than the redwood trees. There certainly are few trees older than the redwood trees, which makes them special, and definitely worth your time to read about today. In this post I am going to introduce you to these amazing trees and one place where they are being preserved; the Redwood National and State Parks in California.

Redwood trees are type of evergreen tree, which means they have needles instead of flat leaves. One thing that makes these trees special is that they can live for a very long time. Redwood trees that are 3,000 years old have been found. In fact, it is very common for a redwood to live to be at least 300 years old; whereas most other trees don’t live much longer than 300 years. These trees are among the oldest living things currently on the Earth! Another thing that makes these trees special is that they grow very tall. The Coastal Redwood trees, which is found on the coast of California and Oregon, are the tallest living things on Earth. These trees can grow to be up to 379 feet (115 meters) tall! These trees tower above the other trees in the forest. (Note: There are three types of redwoods, Coastal Redwoods, Giant Redwoods, and Dawn Redwoods. This post just focuses on the Coastal Redwoods.)

Sadly, the beautiful, tall, and long-living redwood trees, which used to be found all along the Oregon and California coast, are almost all gone. In the 1800s and early 1900s logging companies decimated (to decimate = to destroy a large percentage of something) these trees. Their wood is a beautiful red color, the wood is also long lasting after it is cut, and it is very strong. These are among the many reasons that redwood trees were logged for decades in California and Oregon. It is estimated that now, only 5% of the old redwood forests still exist. Luckily, these forests that do exist are now protected so that the old trees can continue to grow and new ones can come back.

The Redwood National and State Parks in California are where you will find almost all of the old growth redwood trees today. These are a group of connected parks, which were created, beginning in the 1920s, to protect the redwoods and the animals that live in their forests. In total there are about 38,000 acres (157 km2) of old-growth redwood trees in these parks. You can drive your car around in groves (grove = a group of trees) of redwoods; and you can also, hike and even camp near these big trees. No matter how you see these trees, on foot, or by car, you will be amazed by their height, age, and beauty! If you are driving your car to see the redwoods, you can also drive your car through one of the three “drive-thru” redwood trees that have been created. These “drive-thru” trees, which are so big you can dive a car through the trunk, have been created as tourist attractions. They are not found in the parks, but nearby. Amazingly people have cut holes large enough to drive cars through these trees and that has not killed the trees!

Drive-thru redwood tree.

Drive-thru redwood tree!
Image by Carissa Rogers
on Flicker.com.

I know when I spent time camping in the Redwood National and State Parks, I was amazed by these trees and I am sure you would be too if you went to see them. Just think about all that has happened in the world in the time that some of these trees have been alive. That is truly awe inspiring to think about!

Note: Information for this post was taken from National Parks brochures at Redwood National and State Parks.