Skip to main content

Popular Idioms and Usages Part M

This is a series of popular idioms and usages in English world over. Please read the other parts until the Part L of this series.

  1. Make a beeline for: Move fast toward anything. John made a beeline for Jane.
  2. Make an offer he can’t refuse: Originated from Mario Puzo classic, The Godfather. It means “do as I say or die.”
  3. Make no bones about: To state something doubtlessly.
  4. The real McCoy: The original thing, not duplicate.
  5. Mea culpa: Latin meaning, “I am to be blamed.”
  6. Meet your Waterloo: To taste failure after so many successes.
  7. Men in suits: Businessmen or executives who follow a dress code. First used by John Lennon.
  8. Menage a trois: French meaning three people in sexual partnership.
  9. Mexican wave: A wave effect caused by people in stadia standing up and sitting back. Came to existence from 1986 football world cup in Mexico.
  10. Mickey Finn: Anesthetic mixed into one’s drink to make him unconscious.
  11. Mince pies: Eyes. Cockney rhyming slang.
  12. Mind your p’s and q’s: Check your language.
  13. Moaning Minnie: A habitual grumbler.
  14. Molotov cocktail: A homemade petrol bomb.
  15. Montezuma’s revenge: Diarrhea suffered by tourists when traveling to foreign locations. Came to existence after Montezuma, the 15th century emperor of Mexico.
  16. The full Monty: The whole thing.
  17. Mouth watering: Delicious.
  18. Moving the goalposts: Changing the target itself to gain advantage over the opponents.
  19. Much of a muchness: Very similar.
  20. Mumbo jumbo: Nonsense
  21. Mum’s the word: Speak nothing.

Please read the other parts of the series and voice your comments.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008


Popular posts from this blog

Power of Short Sentences

Post dedicated to Thomas Hardy (see History Today below). There are monster sentences like the one you encounter as the first paragraph of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens . One of my friends, whom I am getting equipped for his IELTS ( what is this? ), told me that the examination recommends long sentences. In writing classes also, I guess it’s longer sentences most tutors promote. But indubitably shorter sentences are more powerful . We will see why. Take a long sentence for instance: Tom Cruise, one of the finest actors in the whole world, is perhaps the most powerful celebrity to exist ever according to Time Magazine, but many people still dispute this fact and point out that there are more powerful and popular actors than Cruise, though they were unsuccessful in providing the total number of fans, who liked the films of those actors. This is a long sentence and it is very confusing . Though it has a logical construction and conveys a meaning, it falters in many occasions and seems

Creative Writing: Crafting Characters With Emotional Appeal in Mind

When you read the greatest fiction works ever, have you ever asked what was so compelling about them that you not only kept reading it, but you ended up reading all other major works of the writer? It may well be because the writer touched your emotional quotient quite a bit. Every reader has a unique taste . Some like to read suspense thrillers , some tender love stories, and some others dark horror and bloodshed stories . That’s why there are all sorts of genres out there. When a writer gives you what exactly you want, you will keep reading. Here we come to the emotional appeal. Character Imperfection Perfect characters may not always be the upshot of a writer’s deliberation. It may well be due to ignorance . Usually the upcoming writers take it for granted that if they create perfect characters, they will be able to garner a bigger audience . It is not true. You have to ask yourself what a character would do in a particular situation. Perfect characters—perfect gunmen, perfect

Another Tiny List of Confusables

Earlier, you may remember we published a list of confusable words . Here we are again, with such a list of words. Abjure/Adjure: Abjure means "to formally renounce (give up) something" such as a position. Adjure on the other hand means 'to appeal to' or 'solemnly order'. The governor decided to abjure his position due to political pressure. Normally, adjuring to the subordinates doesn't give many results. Amount/Number: Use amount when you have uncountable subject. Use number when it is countable. The amount of love one gets depends on the number of friends one has. Appraise/Apprise: Appraise is the word applied to quantitative evaluation of something. Apprise means 'communicate' or 'inform'. Appraising diamonds is the work of an expert. Joe apprised me of the schedule of events. Attorney/Lawyer/Solicitor: These terms are highly misinterpreted and confused by many people. Let me clarify. In the US, an attorney is any member