English Language Blog

Let’s ring in the New Year with idioms using the word ‘new’ Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in English Language

Another year is almost upon us, tomorrow is the first day of 2014! To help us ring in the New Year, today I am going to present some English idioms/expressions with the word “new” in them.

First though, let me tell you about the expression “ring in the new year.” The expression ‘ring in the new year’ means to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. The expression comes from the tradition of ringing bells around towns on midnight of December 31st. Here is a verse from a poem about this custom:

Ring out the old, ring in the new, 
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
 The year is going, let him go;
 Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Here is how you would use this expression in a sentence:
How do you plan to ring in the new year?

Now to our idioms with the word “new” in them:

a new lease on life – This expression refers to having a new opportunity to be successful or happy, after having experienced some difficulties.
Example: My grandfather has a new lease on life since recovering from his heart surgery.

(as) good as new – This means that something is in very good condition or is like new even though it is not new and may have been broken in the past.
Example: My car is as good as new since I took it to get tuned up.

the new kid on the block – This refers to a person (not just a child) who is new to a place .
Example: Who is the new kid on the block and why is he taking over like he is the boss?

you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – This idiom is a nice way of saying  that a person is used to doing things a certain way and may have trouble changing.
Example: I haven’t been in school for 10 years, I can’t start to learn a new language now, you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
(P.S. This isn’t true, anyone can learn a new language!)

new blood – This expression refers to a new person, usually a new member of a team or group.
Example: The coach decided to bring in some new blood, because the team wasn’t doing well.

break new ground – This expression is used when talking about a person being a pioneer or doing something that no one else has done.
Example: The team is breaking new ground in cancer research, they may even find a cure for cancer soon.

Happy New Year everyone! Have fun ringing in the new year.

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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.