Take Your Lumps

Meaning of Idiom ‘Take Your (or one’s) Lumps’ To take your (or one’s) lumps means to suffer punishment, attack or defeat; to experience difficulty in one’s efforts, plans, or as part of one’s life.  1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, … Read more

Take off Something

Also: Take something off Meaning of Idom ‘Take Off Something’ 1. Remove; undress, as applied to clothing, jewelry, eyeglasses, etc. as in to take off one’s shirt or take off one’s glasses. 1Brenner, Gail Abel.  Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. Usage note: This meaning can … Read more

Take Off

Meaning of Idiom ‘Take Off’ 1. To leave or go away. Also expressed ‘take oneself off.’ 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms]. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. Usage note: Also expressed as a command similar to beat it or buzz off, as in the example “Take off. I don’t have time for your complaints … Read more

Talk The Hind Legs Off A Donkey

A British or Irish idiom dating to the early 1800’s or earlier. Also: Talk the hind legs off a dog. (Possibly Australian) Talk the legs off an iron pot. (Possible Australian) Meaning Of Idiom ‘Talk the Hind Legs Off a Donkey’ Like the similar idiom to talk someone’s ear off, to talk the hind legs off a … Read more

Talk the Bark Off a Tree

A rarely heard idiom from the late 1800’s or earlier. Meaning of ‘Talk the Bark off a Tree’ Idiom The idiom “to talk the bark off a tree” is similar to several related idioms, such as talk someone’s ear off and talk the hind legs off a donkey. It means to talk continuously and to exhaust the listener. … Read more

Talk Someone’s Ear Off

Also: Talk Someone’s Head Off. Talk Someone’s Leg (or Arm) Off. Talk Someone’s Pants Off. Chew Someone’s Ear Off. Meaning of ‘Talk Someone’s Ear Off’ Idiom To talk someone’s ear off means to talk for a long time in a way that bores or bothers the listener until they are exhausted and sick of listening to you. … Read more

Talk A Blue Streak

Also ‘talk up a blue streak’ and ‘curse a blue streak.’ Meaning of the Idiom ‘Talk a Blue Streak’ Similar to talk nineteen to the dozen or talk a mile a minute. When someone ‘talks a blue streak’ they are speaking very quickly and at length. This idiom, like other related talk idioms, also has the connotation of exhausting the … Read more

Taken Aback, to be

To take someone aback or to be taken aback is an old idiomatic expression that has existed in English since the mid-1900’s. Like many common expressions, it was taken from old nautical terminology dating from the 1800’s. Meaning of Taken Aback When someone is taken aback, they are very shocked, surprise, or, to use another expression taken off guard. … Read more

Take Someone to the Cleaners

Meaning of Idiom ‘Take Someone to the Cleaners’ To take someone to the cleaners is to take most or all their money or cause them to lose their money through cheating them or some other nefarious means; to “clean someone out” financially either by dishonest means or in a court battle. Occasionally, taking someone to … Read more

Take French Leave

Meaning of Idiom ‘Take French Leave’ To take French leave is to leave without getting permission or without informing anyone; to leave a gathering without saying goodbye to the host; to quit a job without giving notice. Usage This expression is better left unused, as it may be seen as a slur toward the French. … Read more