I have studied foreign languages for years now and learned how to construct sentences by following some structure of pronoun, verb object and so on. However, it wasn’t until I became an English teacher that I started to see my own native language with a critical eye. The most difficult to teach would have to be the idioms or silly expressions we use in English since they often do not make sense for the language learner.
However, I realized yesterday that some phrases I thought were ridiculous as a 6 year old when I first learned them still seem ridiculous now and it makes me cringe when I hear them. So I’d just like to write down some expressions in English that I find funny either as they are or how I understood them.
1. Let us break bread = Let’s share a meal. I still picture some maniac running around with a hammer hitting bread all over the house and cannot suppress a smile when someone says that.
2. Let us pray – As a child I heard Lettuce pray and would picture a bunch of vegetables on their knees. I still hear it this way and can’t shake it.
3. The soldiers came back from the Theater – Now I checked this in the dictionary and it does not refer to a battlefield in any way in either the American or English spelling. Is it that they are trying to make a war seem elegant like the theater?
4. “Boots on the ground.” – Again a wartime expression for getting soldiers to a specific area and I still picture some cobbler throwing the boots he made on the ground.
5. You’re up a creek (pronounced krik) without a paddle – It means that you are in trouble with no way out. I still picture it as myself in an actual canoe with no paddles.
6. When Christians speak with “Thou, Thee” and other silly pronouns. As a language learner I see these people using language to try to make themselves seem profound when to me it just seems silly. The Church often does this to make their proclamations seem holier than just normal English.
Well, that’s about it for now. Feel free to post any other expressions you find silly but are still in common usage.