Young woman pushes a kayak in the water of lake on a summer sunny day.

Paying through the nose and pushing the boat out (Money Idioms, Part 1)

Young woman pushes a kayak in the water of lake on a summer sunny day.
Remains/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

Today, in the latest of my money-themed posts, I’m looking at money idioms, by which I mean idioms that say something about money (and not idioms about other subjects that feature the words ‘penny’, ‘money’, ‘coin’ etc.). There are lots of money idioms so this is Part 1 and we’ll publish Part 2 in a couple of weeks. Continue reading “Paying through the nose and pushing the boat out (Money Idioms, Part 1)”

a colourful photo collage of a woman's hand holding a credit card surrounded by a plate of food, car, piggy bank, online shopping icon, and house

Skimping and splurging (Verbs for spending money)

a colourful photo collage of a woman's hand holding a credit card surrounded by a plate of food, car, piggy bank, online shopping icon, and house
We Are/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Last month I wrote a post on words and phrases used to talk about our money habits. Continuing with the money theme, I’m looking this week at verbs and verb phrases for spending money. Continue reading “Skimping and splurging (Verbs for spending money)”

close up photograph of a small coin purse full of Euro notes and coins

Spendthrifts and skinflints (The language of how we spend)

close up photograph of a small coin purse full of Euro notes and coins
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by Kate Woodford

Would you describe yourself as careful with money or are you a big spender? Today’s post considers the language we use to talk about our money habits. Continue reading “Spendthrifts and skinflints (The language of how we spend)”

one little girl pointing at another girl in messy room

Telltales and fidgets (Words that we use for children)

one little girl pointing at another girl in messy room
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by Kate Woodford

In a supermarket last week, I heard a mother telling her child not to be naughty. Naughty is, of course, a word usually used for (badly behaved) children rather than adults. It made me think about other words that we use mainly for children, and I thought the subject would make an interesting post. Continue reading “Telltales and fidgets (Words that we use for children)”

a yawning tabby kitten

Has the cat got your tongue? (How we talk, Part 2)

a yawning tabby kitten
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by Kate Woodford

My last ‘How we talk’ post focused on words used for people who talk a lot, including adjectives such as ‘talkative’ and ‘forthcoming’. This week, I’m looking at the opposite – words that we use for people who say very little. Continue reading “Has the cat got your tongue? (How we talk, Part 2)”

a photograph of two young people smiling and talking to each other, with a colourful, illustrated background showing a speech bubble

He could talk the hind legs off a donkey (How we talk, Part 1)

a photograph of two young people smiling and talking to each other, with a colourful, illustrated background showing a speech bubble
We Are/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

This week and next, I’m looking at ways to describe how much – or how little – we speak. There are lots of words (especially adjectives) in this area, with very different connotations, from chatty (=talking a lot in a friendly, informal way) to reserved (=tending not to talk about your feelings or opinions):

Jamie was his usual chatty self.

My grandfather was a quiet, rather reserved man.

This post will cover words and phrases that mean ‘talking a lot’ and Part 2 will deal with the opposite. Continue reading “He could talk the hind legs off a donkey (How we talk, Part 1)”

Two businessmen looking at the financial paper with surprised expression

Hot air and bad blood (Idioms found in newspapers)

Two businessmen looking at the financial paper with surprised expression
GSO Images/The Image Bank/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Today’s post is a round-up of the idioms and phrases found in a range of national newspapers published on the same Sunday in October. I write one of these newspaper idioms posts every few months as a way of providing you with a regular supply of contemporary, frequently used English idioms. Continue reading “Hot air and bad blood (Idioms found in newspapers)”

nine wooden blocks stacked in a square - eight are black and point right, and one is red and points left

Having second thoughts (Changing our minds, Part 2)

nine wooden blocks stacked in a square - eight are black and point right, and one is red and points left
Chaiyawat Sripimonwan/EyeEm/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In part 1 of this post (Changing our minds, Part 1), I looked at language that is often used to refer to people in positions of power changing their decisions or plans. This post continues the ‘changing your mind’ theme but instead focuses on the sort of language that is used when people more generally change their minds. Continue reading “Having second thoughts (Changing our minds, Part 2)”

the feet and lower legs of a person standing in front of a U-turn symbol painted on the road surface

U-turns and flip-flopping (Changing our minds, Part 1)

the feet and lower legs of a person standing in front of a U-turn symbol painted on the road surface
mantinov/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

‘A wise man changes his mind. A fool never will,’ or so says the proverb. Whether or not this is true, we all change our minds, sometimes about trivial things and sometimes about things that really matter. This post (in two parts) takes a look at nouns, verbs and idioms in this area of the language. Today, we’ll look at the sort of language that is often used when people in positions of power change their opinions or plans. Continue reading “U-turns and flip-flopping (Changing our minds, Part 1)”

in a toy shop, a grandfather bounces energetically on a pogo stick, watched by his young grandson

Boundless energy and oomph (Language relating to energy, Part 2)

in a toy shop, a grandfather bounces energetically on a pogo stick, watched by his young grandson
Sean Justice/The Image Bank/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Part 1 of this ‘energy’ series looked at adjectives for describing lively, energetic people. This post looks at nouns that mean ‘energy’ and idioms that we use to describe energetic people. Continue reading “Boundless energy and oomph (Language relating to energy, Part 2)”