Beatlemania was a portmanteau, or blend, word coined in the 1960s to describe the state of excitement (mania) felt by a group of hardcore fans about their favourite band (The Beatles). Here at LOS we are so enthusiastic about teaching English idioms that we have created our own blend word, based on the one inspired by The Fab Four, to headline our new audio programme; Idiomania. Each week or so, we will record an episode which highlights an everyday concept or setting, and then explore some of the common idioms and proverbs (and antonyms) surrounding that scenario. So don’t be frightened to try us out. Or should I say ‘fortune favours the brave’; or ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’; or…I’ll stop now, before my idiomania gets out of control! Or ‘out of hand’; or ‘runs riot’… Help me!
Episode 32: The Paranormal
Twilight Zone, let the genie out of the bottle, open Pandora’s Box, a bogeyman
Episode 31: Friends
Have someone’s back, be all ears, chin up, written in blood
Episode 30: The New Normal
Roll with the punches, get into the swim of things, take to something like a duck to water, an Achilles heel
Episode 29: Binomials
Give or take, head and shoulders, bits and bobs, to and fro
Episode 28: Fortune-Telling
A crystal ball, on the cards, have a hunch about something, How long is a string?
Episode 26: Oxymorons
Organized chaos, same difference, working holiday, deafening silence
Episode 25: For Better Or Worse?
As fit as a fiddle, throw a sickie, be green around the gills, a taste of one’s own medicine
Episode 24: Have We Got News For You!
Bad news travels fast, no news is good news, that’s news to someone, bearer of bad news, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on
Episode 23: Crime
Be caught with his/her hands in the till, highway robbery, an open-and-shut case, set a thief to catch a thief
Episode 22: Loneliness
Plough one’s own furrow, a lone wolf, wallow in self-pity, snap out of something, be comfortable in one’s own skin, retreat into one’s shell
Episode 21: Spontaneity
On the hoof, off the cuff, think on your feet, off the top of your head
Episode 18: Workaholism
Keep your head above water, put your nose to the grindstone, work your fingers to the bone, slog your guts out for something
Episode 17: Job Responsibility
Bottom line, up to scratch, at the coalface, a jobsworth
Episode 16: Ball Games
A political football, keep your eye on the ball, drop the ball, a whole new ball game
Episode 15: Humour
Gallows humour, schoolboy humour, cringe humour, toilet humour
Episode 13: Animals
A spider’s web of something, be blind as a bat, cry wolf, Has the cat got your tongue?
Episode 11: Christmas
Turkeys voting for Christmas, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, good things come in small packages, Christmas has come early / an early Christmas present
Episode 10: Charisma
Be all mouth and trousers, fur coat and no knickers, all that glisters is not gold, a snake-oil salesman
Episode 9: Disagreement
Have a bone to pick with someone, rock the boat, play devil’s advocate, nail one’s colours to the mast
Episode 8: End Product
Need a kick up the arse or an arm around the shoulder, put one’s back into it, get/pull one’s finger out, breathe down someone’s neck
Episode 5: Happiness
Be on cloud nine, a whale of a time, as sick as a parrot, gutted
Episode 4: What’s Your Version?
Wouldn’t say boo to a goose, a wallflower, be the life and soul of the party, not backward in coming forward
Episode 2: Talent
A natural, first-rate, second-rate, second to none, not to be cut out for something