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7th Grade Language Arts / Lesson 4.12: Idioms


What Will I Learn Today?

  • Today you will learn about idioms

  • Idioms are words, phrases and expressions that mean something different than what they appear to mean.  They have been adopted by custom.

  • For example, when someone wants you to hurry up, they may tell you:

      "Shake a leg!"

    "Shake a leg" is an idiom that means "Get moving!"

Figuring Out The Meaning of Idioms


Way 1:  The first way of figuring out the meaning of an idiom is to look at the words making up the idiom.  Sometimes, the exact, literal meaing of the words can give you a clue into the meaning of the idiom.

 Example:  We had a bird's eye view at the stadium last night.

 Meaning:  Bird fly high through the air, so a bird's eye view means a view from high up.


Way 2:  Another way to figure out the meaning of an idiom is by using context
clues from the other words and sentences around it.

Example:  "We don't listen to Trudy anymore. She just "talks through her hat" most of
the time. A lot of the things she says aren't true. They're utter

Look at the at the other sentences around the idiom "talks through her hat."
From their meaning, what do you think the idiom means?

 Trudy talks a lot

 No one cares what Trudy says

 Trudy doesn't know what she's talking about

Two of the sentences around the idiom "talks through her hat" is "A lot of the things she says aren't true," and "They're utter nonsense."  Therefore the idiom "talks through her hat" means Trudy doesn't know what's she's talking about.