A cart track may be muddy or stony. The carts (pulled by carthorses) might have made ruts in the track. No tarmac or its precursor, cobblestones on a cart track!

A flat tyre was not a problem for a cart. Cartwheels were wooden, with a metal rim. Nowadays a gymnastic movement might be the first meaning to come to mind. One hand goes down then the other and the legs trace a circle in the air.

A puncture might be the cause of a flat tyre. A faulty valve is another possibility.

A breakdown might be a vehicle which stops working or a mental health crisis.

A breakdown van/recovery van is able to take a vehicle away. It is interesting to note the difference in emphasis. One unusual vehicle I have noticed on the road was an enclosed van, advertising discreet vehicle recovery!

A collision involves an impact. If two vehicles are travelling in opposite directions, the impact is the combined speeds of the two vehicles. It is a head-on collision.

A collision course is sometimes used as a metaphor, when a clash of ideas is anticipated.

A spare tyre must be carried on vehicles in the UK – it is the law. Another type of spare tyre is unwanted bulk around the waistline of a person!

Car park is the UK version of parking lot. Sometimes people make remarks about the regular holdups on motorways, referring to them as car parks.  And a car is an automobile in US English.

An old banger is an old car. (Bangers are also sausages.)

Veteran cars and vintage cars are old. There is an annual race from London to Brighton.  I have been to watch it several times at the nearest point to my childhood home.  A veteran car was made before 1915 or before 1906. A vintage car was made between 1917/19 and 1930.   There is more information here.  There seems to be some variation in dates quoted by different references.

Hackney cab used to be horse-drawn, but now describes a London taxi.

Belisha beacons are the flashing yellow lights either side of a pedestrian crossing with black and white stripes – a zebra crossing. On a recent trip to London, I noticed that these have been redesigned with brighter lights. Belisha was the name of the Minister of Transport.

Traffic lights are a usual way of controlling the flow of traffic at busy junctions and around road-works. The colours of the lights are red, amber and green. They light up in a particular sequence so that observant drivers know which light will be displayed next after the amber light is lit.

A traffic jam is a situation where the traffic is at a standstill because there is a tail-back. If the traffic cannot move at all it is called gridlock. I am tempted to note here that the British call various fruit preserves “jam”. Jam is sticky, but in a traffic jam, the traffic is stuck!

High-rise is a description of a tall building. UK English refers to blocks of flats, which in US English might be apartment blocks or condo(minium)s.

A sky-scraper rises so high that its top is in the sky! It is more likely to be an office block, than residential accommodation.

A tower block is a tall building – usually a cuboid.

Hand signals may indicate what a road user intends to do, or what a police officers orders.

Free parking can be hard to find. There may be parking meters on the pavement (sidewalk), or machines to pay car-parking charges in a car park. Failure to pay or overstaying the allotted time may result in a fine (penalty payment).

A substation may be adjacent to a road. This is part of the electricity supply network or national grid. Not to be confused with a petrol station, aka service station, a bus station or a train station, which always used to be called a railway station. (And for anyone I’ve managed to confuse, in the UK we call gasoline “petrol”.)

A mystery tour is usually by coach. The passengers do not know where their destination will be.

A mystery parcel is sometimes advertised by mail order companies with surplus stock. At least part of its delivery will be by road.

The gift of God may seem mysterious, but a story, which is well-known and yet contains too much to take in at a single reading, includes a reference to it. John 4:1-42



Four by four by ten was my 160th post summarising the previous forty.

Signs of the times is a quotation.  Matthew 16:3  The post is about signs you might see in the modern world.

All at sea (Part 3) expressions about the sea and sailing

Haves and have-nots – Money matters (Part 7) The title uses an expression describing the rich and poor.  More expressions about money, value and more.

Back to nature usually refers to a simpler life.  the post is about flowers and plants, which have enriched the English language.

A look in the eye is a facial expression.  Eyes, sight and blindness feature here.

Cleaning up has a number of meanings – the literal one and raking in money.  Expressions about cleaning and cleaning materials are included.

Going to extremes Nakedness and blackness are two extremes.

Extra post for Christmas Day

Winter woollies on! Wool, sheep and shepherds may provide warmth.

Bits and bobs are assorted objects and that is what this post is about.

New Year special I announced changes to my blogging routine.

My new posting schedule for 2014 (Archive links)

Washday These expressions about work are mostly connected to washing clothes.

Money and communicat-ing matter (Archive links)

Home truths (Part 2) Houses, their contents and attitudes.  (A home truth is not usually pleasant news to the person hearing what others think.)

Money talks (Archive links)

The living is easy is an expression and the line of at least one song.  Here expressions lead to leisure and lifestyle.

Talking about the weather (Archive links)

A step in the right direction is a self-evident expression.  Here are ideas about influence and social groupings and decisions, right?

Childhood sayings (Archive links)

On time (Part 5) More expressions about time

Head to sea (Archive links)

Quick This post includes sayings about fast and slow.

Speaking about limbs (Archive links)

Trials and tribulations are difficulties in life.  Naturally there are appropriate expressions.

Different opinions about food and drink (Archive links)

Something has to give Mostly about giving, presents and celebration – but not entirely.  I won’t give the game away!

Is the sky the limit? (Archive links) The sky is the limit is an expression about unlimited resources.  the linked posts are about Sky and money.

On time (Part 6) More expressions about time.

Fish, birds and worry (Archive links)

Weighing it up is about decision-making.

Speaking clock (Archive links) Before computers and synchronised clocks, the usual way of finding the precise time was to telephone the speaking clock.  the linked posts are about speech and time.

Do you care about words?  Care, and words are the main topics here.

Speaking clock (again) (Archive links)

Stumped by technology batteries, radar and stumps.

Fashion and missing things (Archive links)

‘Nuff said’ Speaking terms (Part 9) The previous post in this series was way back in October 2012.  Nuff is how many people pronounce “Enough”.

Time for music (Archive links)

Building up is a post about expressions involving components of buildings – perhaps I should have called it building blocks, but I like the idea of encouragement.

Two hundred occurs many times in the Bible, mainly in the Old Testament.  St Paul was moved from Jerusalem to Caesarea by two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to ensure his safety.  Acts 23:23 Have you read this exciting book of the Bible?


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