Archives for posts with tag: children’s books

Single minded describes a person with an objective they pursue in a determined manner.

That’s a load off your mind is an expression used when a cause for concern has been resolved satisfactorily, for example.

Jumping to conclusions is something people frequently do, when they do not have enough information.  It usually describes an incorrect guess.  I seem to remember it was used in an amusing way in The Phantom Tollbooth.

Your guess is as good as mine is a way of saying I really don’t know.

I don’t rightly know means I’m not sure.

How did you guess? A question sometimes asked when someone has just stated the obvious.

If it doesn’t do any good, it won’t do any harm.
This could apply to a home remedy or an attempt to put something right.

They didn’t come to any harm might be said after learning of some risky behaviour, which did not lead to disaster.

To cushion a blow is to reduce the impact of some bad news by breaking it gently. 

Shut your trap!  This is a very impolite way of telling someone to stop talking.

It could go either way means the outcome is not certain.  It should only be used where there are only two possible results, such as pass or fail, win or lose.

It’s in the balance is a reference to weighing scales.  A balance has been used to compare weights since early times.  Nowadays we have bodies such as the Trading Standards.  The Bible urges people to be honest in their dealings and to use correct weights and measures.  Proverbs 16:11

That would open the floodgates…

…by setting a precedent.

Work it out for yourself!  The speaker is not going to explain.  “You should be able to work it out for yourself” might be gentle encouragement.  The Bible tells us

Work out your own salvation”.  This is not problem solving.  It is being a disciple.  Philippians 2:12-13

Gates closed at 7 o’clock or dusk if earlier

is a notice on park gates.  The time may vary from place to place.  In winter the closing time varies.  Dusk is when it has not quite become dark (after sunset).

Over the years really means during a long period of time.  Over the years I have come to realise…

In this day and age is a cliché frequently used when an opinion is expressed about what ought or ought not to happen in a modern civilisation.

In the dead of night is a phrase using the idea that everything is quiet at night.  With nocturnal animals, shift work and “The city never sleeps” perhaps it will drop out of use!

From the dawn of time means from the very beginning.

Twelfth night is the Twelfth night of Christmas.  It is the name of a play.

Epiphany is January 6 for the western Church commemorating the visit of the wise men to the Christ child.  Epiphany means revelation.  He was revealed to them.

Mark the occasion! with a celebration of some sort, perhaps.

Forthwith means immediately.

In quick sticks means quickly.  Presumably the phrase is making use of rhyme rather than reason.

At present means now or currently.

Presently usually means soon.

Prompt is on time or quick.  He arrived at 9 o’clock prompt.  He arrived on the dot of 9 o’clock.  He gave a prompt reply.

May Day and M’aidez sound very similar.  While May Day is 1st May and has associations with Trade Unions, it is also an emergency call, particularly at sea.  M’aidez means help me.  One of may favourite books has May Day as the setting fro the opening chapter.  It is Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge.

Here for the duration means not having any intention of moving away.

A grandfather clock is a clock in a tall case.  There is a comic song about one, which is mentioned in this post by another blogger. 

You can’t wind the clock back.  This is often said to someone, who regrets a past decision or action.  It is not a clock, but time itself, which is referred to here.

Like clockwork means regular.

Every five minutes may imply too frequently.

It’s a race against time.  This saying is often used in a crisis.  Time is of the essence is similar.

In less than no time is impossible, so this is an exaggeration describing something done very quickly.

Not before time is a way of saying that someone has been slow or tardy.  Tard is French for late.

It’s high time is a similar expression.  The imagery may be of time building up before something occurs.

In broad daylight is an expression used about activities which ought to be hidden (or completely avoided!)  2 Samuel 12:11 includes the phrase.