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Bag Expressions

Different people have different ways of saying things their own special expressions. Each week we tell about some popular American expressions.

The bag is one of the most simple and useful things in the world. It is a container made of paper or cloth. It has given the world many strange expressions that are not very simple.  Some of them are used in the United States today.



  


Hold On

Cant hold a candle to is a popular expression. It is from the time before electricity, when people used candles for light. Someone who lived in a big house would have a servant light his way by holding a candle. The expression meant that the person who cannot hold a candle to you is not fit even to be your servant. Now, it means such a person cannot compare or compete.  In the following song, singer Dolly Parton tells her new love that her old flames, her old lovers, cannot compare with him.

  


Nose and Ear Expressions

A persons nose is important for breathing and smelling. The nose is also used in many popular expressions.
Some people are able to lead other people by the nose. For example, if a wife leads her husband by the nose, she makes him do whatever she wants him to do.
Some people are said to be hard-nosed. They will not change their opinions or positions on anything. If someone is hard-nosed, chances are he will never pay through the nose, or pay too much money, for an object or service.


  


Nicknames for New York City

 A nickname is a shortened form of a person's name. A nickname also can be a descriptive name for a person, place or thing. Many American cities have nicknames. These can help establish an identity, spread pride among citizens and build unity.

A few years ago, some marketing and advertising experts were asked to name the best nickname for an American city. The winner was the nations largest city, New York. The top nickname was the Big Apple.



  


Nicknames for Chicago

A nickname is a shortened version of a person's name. A nickname also can describe a person, place or thing. Many American cities have interesting nicknames. These can help establish an identity, spread pride among citizens and build unity.

(Frank Sinatra - Chicago)

Chicago, Illinois was once the second largest city in the United States. So, one of its nicknames is The Second City. Over the years, the population of Chicago has decreased. Today it is the third largest American city.



  


Great Scott

Every language has its ways of expressing strong emotions -- surprise, shock, anger.

The expressions range from mild to strong, from exclamations and oaths, to curses and swear words. The ones that are accepted in public speech change through the years as social rules change.



  


Clothing Expressions, Part One

Have you ever considered all the English expressions that include words about clothes? Lets see if I can name a few off the cuff, or without any preparation.

People wear pants to cover the lower part of their bodies. We sometimes say that people who are restless or nervous have ants in their pants. They might also fly by the seat of their pants. They use their natural sense to do something instead of their learned knowledge. Sometimes, people may get caught with their pants down.  They are found doing something they should not be doing. And, in every family, one person takes control. Sometimes a wife tells her husband what to do. Then we say she wears the pants in the family

  


More Clothing Expressions

 Last week, I explained some English expressions about clothes. Everything I told you was true. I did not talk through my hat or say something without knowing the facts.

Everyone knows there are many English expressions about clothes. There is no need to keep it a secret, or keep it under your hat. In fact, if I keep talking, soon enough you will start to think I am an old hat about this -- a real expert. Do not be fooled, though. My friends sometimes call me a wolf in sheeps clothing. This is someone who acts like a good person, but is really a bad person.



  


Swan Song

 The white swan with its long, graceful neck is among the most beautiful of birds. The swan is mostly silent through its life. It floats quietly on the water, unable to sing sweet songs like most other birds.

In ancient times, however, people believed that the swan was given a special gift of song at the end of its life. They believed a swan sings a most beautiful song just before it dies.

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates talked of this two thousand three hundred years ago. Socrates explained that the swan was singing because it was happy. The bird was happy because it was going to serve the Greek God Apollo. Swans were holy to Apollo, the god of poetry and song.



  


Dog Talk

Americans use many expressions with the word dog. People in the United States love their dogs and treat them well. They take their dogs for walks, let them play outside and give them good food and medical care. However, dogs without owners to care for them lead a different kind of life. The expression, to lead a dog's life, describes a person who has an unhappy existence

  


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