The idioms and expressions in today’s post come from a range of national newspapers that were published on the same day. We write a post on phrases used in newspapers every couple of months in order to give you a regular supply of contemporary, frequently used English expressions.
Of course, COVID-19 features very prominently in all the newspapers. One tabloid claims that a city in the UK is ‘on the brink of lockdown’. If something or someone is on the brink of a bad situation, it is likely that the situation will happen soon. The paper also reports that a country in Europe has now ‘got the all-clear’, referring to the fact that it has now been removed from the UK’s quarantine list. Someone who gets or is given the all-clear has been told that they are healthy again.
Elsewhere in the same newspaper, there are claims that a popular news programme ‘faces the axe’. Something that faces the axe is going to be stopped, even if it is planned. Still in the same paper, students whose exam results haven’t been released yet are said to be ‘in limbo’. People who are in limbo are in a situation where they don’t know what is going to happen and they can do nothing about it.
In the sports pages of a different tabloid, a journalist observes that a famous Italian football team have always ‘had a soft spot for’ players from a particular country. To have a soft spot for someone is to like them very much. In the same pages, the England cricket team are said to be ‘rolling out the big guns’ in their latest match. Big guns are people or organizations with a lot of power and ability.
Another tabloid reports on a horse racing festival that is ‘in full swing’. An event that is in full swing is at its busiest point. It also quotes the England cricket captain saying ‘The sky is the limit.’ for his team. If the sky is the limit, there is no limit, (in this case, to what they can achieve).
A broadsheet refers to a trail in one of London’s botanic gardens in which the public can discover ‘hidden gems’. A hidden gem is something special that few people know about. In the sports pages of the same paper, a journalist writes that the England cricket team’s winning strategy has ‘fallen by the wayside’. If something falls by the wayside, people stop doing or using it.
We hope you found these newspaper expressions useful and enjoyable. We’ll have another round-up for you in a couple of months.
30 thoughts on “Soft spots and big guns (Idioms and phrases in newspapers)”
Another great post! Thank you very much!
You’re very welcome! Thanks for the lovely comment.
Thanks for the article. It really was very useful to learn all those colourful idioms and phrases. Cheers!
That’s great to hear – thank you!
See all for rent to the
All koog of course will come in handy.
There is nothing much better than collecting what have been collected.
Thank you so much!!!
That’s very kind. Thank you!
Thanks a lot it was really helpful
Dorothy, I’m very pleased to hear it!
Its very useful idioms.thanke you
You’re very welcome!
LEARNING A LOT FROM YOUR LISTS OF IDIOMS
That’s what I like to hear! Best wishes from Cambridge.
This post great! But, please help us with words to use when wishing a happy birthday. Thanks
Very useful and effective piece. I wonder why not post such kind of post regularly or at least once a month. Anyway, thank you for the beautiful post.
Thank you! Actually, I do post one of these every two or three months. Best wishes!
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On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, About Words – Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog wrote:
> Kate Woodford posted: ” by Kate Woodford The idioms and expressions in > today’s post come from a range of national newspapers that were published > on the same day. We write a post on phrases used in newspapers every couple > of months in order to give you a regular supply of co” >
Thanks for sharing this with us!!!
Thanks for sharing this with us!!!
You’re welcome, Yusuf!
I came back from my long undesired absence to find you, my dear Kate, do the best for me. Thank you with love.
Thank you, Maryem! I always appreciate your kind words.
Is the expression big guns well structured in this sentence?
Having been a lecturer at a public university for five years without a permanent contract, I am desperately looking for big guns either for killing my fears of losing my charges or for reviving my hopes of getting this contract.
Hi again, Maryem. Actually, this use doesn’t sound so typical. You’d be more likely to read about a football club ‘bringing out the big guns’ for the last 15 minutes of an important game. I hope that helps.
I see. Yes, thank you, Kate.
I really got a good benefit from your article. Thanks for sharing these useful idioms with us.
I’m really pleased to hear it!
Thank you that was great and helpful.
I’m really pleased to hear it – thank you!