Every few months on this blog, we read a selection of national newspapers published on the same day and pick out the idioms that we find in the articles and reports. We read the news, the gossip columns and the sports pages and, as with previous posts, include only the most frequent, up-to-date idioms.
Starting off with a broadsheet, an actor who has recently become famous talks about ‘making a splash’. To make a splash is to do something that makes a lot of people suddenly notice you. In the television guide of the same paper, the TV critic praises a recent series, claiming that no other programme has ‘hit such a nerve’. If something (more often a comment) hits or touches a nerve, it upsets someone, usually by raising a subject that has affected them personally. In the news pages, a journalist writes that the government’s promise to increase the number of doctors by 5000 in three years has ‘fallen short’. To fall short is to fail to reach a level or standard that was hoped for.
Another broadsheet says that a politician has ‘stamped his mark’ on the process of leaving Europe. To make or stamp your mark on something is to do something important so that people recognise or remember you. In the gossip pages of the same paper, an actor is reported as saying that a particular acting role was a tall order. A tall order is something difficult that you are requested to do.
Meanwhile, in a tabloid paper, a comedian is said to ‘spill the beans’ on a secret disagreement that is dividing a major political party. If someone spills the beans, they let secret information become known. In the sports pages, it is reported, triumphantly, that the England cricket team are ‘moving in for the kill’. In a competition or argument, to move or go in for the kill is to prepare to defeat someone who is now in a weak position. Also in the sports columns, one Brazilian footballer encourages another to hold his nerve when considering a lucrative transfer to a more famous football club. When you hold your nerve, you remain calm and determined in a stressful situation.
We’ll be looking at another set of current idioms from newspapers in a couple of months.
19 thoughts on “Make a splash! (Everyday idioms in newspapers)”
One expression that I encounter a lot while reading (and watching British television shows) is:
“grass someone up”. I know the meaning of the expression is ‘to inform the police of someone’s illegal activities’, but what I would like to know is the ORIGIN of the expression. Can you help me?
Check here: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/332534/dont-grass-me-up.
i hope this will help you
I really enjoy reading your stuffs..
Thank you so much..:)
I appreciate your idiom lesson. However, I wonder if they can be applied to the conversations with demographics from other English speaking countries, except for Britons in United Kingdom.
i really enjoy reading your idiom,thank you so much
Dear Communuty, same impression I’ve got. This is a forum I lacked since I left school. How to increase knowledge of a “foreign” – language when there’s no chance to use it – especially when I’m retired. Happy me I dropped to this page / forum ! Yrs sincerely, Gerold from Bonn, Ge
At least now I know: Britain is not synchronous to EUROPE, time is one Hour to differ. Big Ben – out of operating, too. A symbol ? Gerold
I love to read these articles related to the newspapers, and thank you very much.
Kate, I have been a great one for reading this very post of yours, its brilliantly edutainment.
Its a good stuff for English learners and preprators . I appreciate this blog.keep this stuff in practice.
Great as all your posts
This blog comes in handy in terms of providing readers, non-native English speakers in particular, with a vast array of idiomatic English
exprssions that indeed go a long way in augmenting one’s knoweldge of English. As a Yemeni scholar keen on learning and mastering English, I will keep on reading your instructive posts so as to remain posted on the newest and most frequently used idioms. Thank you dear bloggers for the substantial efforts you are exerting in this regard.
Thank you for that lovely message, Anwar!
keep it up
Very useful in my daily usage in writing & speaking. It’s a great sources for whom to compatable with native speakers.
Thank you so much.
I’m so grateful for this blog! It’so useful for english learners. And i wouldnt change anything, cause it’s just perfect. Keep it up!😉❤️ Thank you for your work!!!
I love your blog