Idiom of the Week: Smell a Rat

In honor of the Year of the Rat…

Meaning: To be suspicious of someone or something.


The students were very, very quiet when their teacher entered the room, and so the teacher smelled a rat.

“I smell a rat,” said the police detective after talking to the criminal.

After seeing that the email came from a strange address, I smelled a rat and didn’t open it.

Pop Quiz:

You might smell a rat if…

A.  your boss pays you on time.

B.  a stranger calls you asking for your address and social security number.

C.  a cashier gives you the correct change.

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Idiom of the Week: Start Off on the Right Foot

The first Idiom of the Week of 2020!

Meaning: To begin something in a good way; to start well. Also used with “get off” or “get started.”


Let’s get 2020 started on the right foot with a wonderful new Idiom of the Week!

I prefer to start our meeting off on the right foot and talk about the good things before we move on to the bad things.

I didn’t start this day off on the right foot today – I burned my breakfast and spilled coffee all over the floor.


Pop Quiz:

What’s a good example of starting off on the right foot?

A.  Having an argument with your new spouse on your wedding day.

B.  Failing your first test your first year in college.

C.  Saying something offensive on your first date.

To see the correct answer, click on “Read More.”

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Idiom of the Week: Draw the Line

Image result for ruler drawing line

Meaning: To set a limit; to refuse to do something.


I usually speed but I draw the line at five miles per hour over the speed limit.

You can’t give your kids everything they want. Sometimes you have to draw the line.

Robin Hood was a criminal but at least he drew the line at robbing from poor people.


Pop Quiz:

Which of the following is an example of drawing the line?

A.  Not drinking more than two cups of coffee each day.

B.  Drinking as much coffee as you want every day.

C.  Putting lots of cream and sugar in your coffee.

To see the correct answer, click on “Read More.”

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Idiom of the Week: At the Drop of a Hat

Image result for hat flying wind

Meaning: To do something immediately, usually expressed as a future intention.


“Would you move to a bigger apartment if you had the money?” “At the drop of a hat.”

You can’t just expect people to stop what they’re doing and do what you want them to do at the drop of a hat!

She said she would leave her job at the drop of a hat were it not for the great health insurance.


Pop Quiz:

What’s the opposite of “at the drop of a hat“?

A.  Till the cows come home

B.  When pigs fly

C.  At a snail’s pace

To see the correct answer, click on Read More…

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Idiom of the Week: That Ship Has Sailed

File:Romanian sailing ship Mircea 1.jpg

Meaning: It’s now too late to do something; an opportunity has been lost.


I was thinking about going to the concert but that ship has sailed. It’s sold out.

He asked her to marry him but she said that ship has sailed. She met someone else.

“Do you still want to go to the beach today?” “No, that ship has sailed. It’s too late now.”


Pop Quiz:

In the idiom “that ship has sailed,” the ship represents…

A.  money.

B.  an opportunity.

C.  the future.

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