Have You Ever Thought about How We Form the Idioms/Phrases?

In a conversation, we do not realize how much-and how- we make use of idioms and phrases. Recently, I have deciphered a speech into text. The man used so many idioms and phrases that I am surprised. Later on, I have begun to pay attention to my speech as far as I can. We really use them a lot 🙂 I also realized that our ancestors attributed some meanings to the body parts. One of their favorites is “the eye”. Yes, we have tens of phrases related to the eye at some point. I tried to find the most popular ones, but you can always add more!

 Blink of an eye:   If something happens in the blink of an eye, it happens nearly instantaneously, with hardly enough time to notice it. “The pickpocket disappeared in the blink of an eye.”

Catch somebody’s  eye: If someone catches your eye, you find them attractive. “The pretty girl near the door caught his eye.”

Clap/lay/set eyes on someone: If you clap eyes on someone or something, you look at or see them. “I’ve heard of him but I’ve never clapped eyes on him.”

More than meets the eye: When something (or someone) is more complicated, difficult or interesting that it appears, it is said that there is more than meets the eye. “He said he simply sold his shares, but I think there’s more to it than meets the eye.”

See eye to eye with someone: To see eye to eye with somebody means that you agree with them.

Turn a blind eye to something: If you turn a blind eye to something, you ignore it intentionally.

The apple of your eye: If somebody is the apple of your eye, this means that you like them  very much. “My grandson is the apple of my eye”.

The eye of the storm: A person or organization who is in the eye of the storm is deeply involved in a difficult situation which affects a lot of people. “The minister was often in the eye of the storm during the debate on the war in Iraq.”

Eagle eyes: Someone who has eagle eyes sees or notices things more easily than others. “Tony will help us find it – he’s got eagle eyes!”

Eyes in the back of one’s head: To say that someone has eyes in the back of their head means that they are very observant and notice everything happening around them. “You need eyes in the back of your head to look after young children.”

Feast one’s eyes on something: If you feast your eyes on something, you are delighted and gratified by what you see. “As he drove along the coast, he feasted his eyes on the beautiful scenery.”

Eyes like a hawk: If you’ve got eyes like a hawk, you’ve got good eyesight and notice every detail. “Of course Dad will notice the scratch on his car – he’s got eyes like a hawk!  ”

Half an eye: If you have or keep half an eye on something, you watch something without giving it your full attention. “She kept half en eye on the tv screen while she was preparing dinner.”

In one’s mind’s eye: If you can visualise something, or see an image of it in your mind, you see it in your mind’s eye. “I can see the village in my mind’s eye but I can’t remember the name.”

In the twinkling of an eye: This expression means ‘very fast’ or ‘instantaneously’. “Public opinion can change in the twinkling of an eye.”

Look someone in the eyes: If you look someone in the eye, or eyes, you look at them directly so as to convince them that you are telling the truth, even though you may be lying.

Eyes wide open: If you do something with your eyes open, you are fully aware of what you are doing. “I took on the job with my eyes wide open, so I’m not complaining.”

A sight for sore eyes: This expression refers to a person or thing you are happy to see. “Sam! You’re a sight for sore eyes!  Haven’t seen you in a long time.”

Raise eyebrows: If you raise your eyebrows at something, you show surprise or disapproval by the expression on your face. “When the boss arrived in jeans, there were a lot of raised eyebrows.”

Spit in someone’s eye: If you spit in someone’s eye, you treat that person with disrespect or contempt. “You father raised you as best he could. Don’t start spitting in his eye.”

Not bat an eyelid: To say that somebody does not bat an eyelid means that they do not seem shocked or surprised, nor are they nervous or worried. They show no emotion.

Thank you learn-english-today.com for this wonderful compilation.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ioanna Daskalopoulou on May 18, 2012 at 19:51

    Another famous expression involving eyes:
    “An eye for an eye”!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Ali K. Thabit on May 20, 2012 at 12:07

    Formation of Idoms/Phraises are used by a community who are fluent in their own language in the same society the less cultured individuals cannot catch the meaning
    prompted – the eye phrases or idioms shown are a sample concerned English but
    meaning varies being eye or looking part of the body can add words into it to make phrase instead of eye of the face – as suffix a person say rapid idiomatic speach to the addressee who should have same culture or as usual usage inside the community..
    the same occurs to many suffixes in the same language or other languages..
    Now Idioms or Phrases listed above can be helpful if all the people uses in that meaning… Knowing idiomatic phrases of a group of people or certain society is very amazing it needs a lot of concentration and quick understanding.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Lee Eisenberg on May 21, 2012 at 06:04

    The tagline of “Monsters, Inc” was “You won’t believe your eye.”

    Reply

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