As part of our ongoing coverage of common English idioms, in recent weeks we have discussed idioms that come not only from people but also from animals. Having discussed the living inhabitants of the planet, then, it only makes sense to turn our attention to the planet itself. Here are some of the most common:
It should come as no surprise that dirt – you know, that brown stuff we use to grow plants – is not the most expensive of commodities. Thus if something is “dirt cheap” (that is, as expensive as dirt) it is quite cheap indeed and probably a pretty good deal as well!
Down-To-Earth / Head in the Clouds
This descriptive pairing are, as you might have already guessed, opposites. The first, down-to-earth, means practical and relatable while the second, head in the cloud, is just the opposite: easily distracted and out of touch.
Out of the Woods
To best understand this idiom you have to imagine yourself lost in the woods without a compass, map, or – gasp! – cell phone. Lost and confused, you would probably feel pretty scared wandering around in the unknown. Then again, you would probably feel pretty great once you found your way out – which goes a long way to explaining why this expression means “out of trouble”.
Out of This World
This idiom makes sense if you compare things that in this world to things that are, literally, out of it. Because we see things in this world all of the time they are pretty ordinary. Comparatively, though, things that are out of this world are, well, extraordinary.
To Win by a Landslide
Given that the landslide referred to in this idiom is a large, dramatic movement of earth and rocks similar to an avalanche, to win by one is no small thing. In fact, to win by a landslide is to get almost all of the votes, points, etc. Think 80-20 and you’re on the right on track.
Did you enjoy our post on which Idioms are “Out of This World!”? Catch up on what you might have missed – or just get extra practice – by visiting other idioms blogs!