Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.
That's Not What I Meant!
Have you ever heard the phrase: ''You are the apple of my eye?'' Wait a minute! Since when do our eyes have apples? Don't worry, you didn't miss anything in science class! This statement is simply an idiom.
Idioms are phrases which are commonly used and have a different meaning from how they sound. The meaning of an idiom is figurative, which means it has another meaning than what someone would typically think. For example, if someone didn't know that the idiom ''apple of my eye?'' had another meaning, they might think that it literally meant someone had apples in his or her eyes. Yet, because this is an idiom, it means something different. This idiom actually means that someone likes you and values you more than other people. That sounds much better than apples growing out of everyone's eyes!
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Examples of Idioms
Let's go through some more idioms and try to guess what they mean:
- ''I'm going back to the drawing board.'' For this one, the person doesn't mean he or she is actually going to draw but is going to start over or think about another way to do something.
- ''That costs an arm and a leg.'' For this one, no, you don't have to pay for the item in body parts. Phew...that's a relief! It simply means that the object is expensive.
- ''That test was a piece of cake.'' The test isn't covered in icing and candles, but this idiom means that it was easy to do.
Idiom poems are poems that contain idioms. They can rhyme or not rhyme and don't have a set number of lines. In idiom poems, the idioms are used to help the reader visualize what is happening in the poem and think more about what the author really means.
Shel Silverstein's ''Losing Pieces'' is a great example of an idiom poem. It goes like this:
The title of the poem and the first five lines make you think about pieces of your body falling off. For example, you could have imagined a person's head falling off. That could be very scary and gross, but luckily that's not what Shel Silverstein meant. Each of the first five lines of the poem are actually idioms, and they really have the following meanings:
- ''Talked my head off'' means talked a lot.
- ''Worked my tail off'' means worked really hard.
- ''Cried my eyes out'' means cried a lot or really hard.
- ''Walked my feet off'' means walked a lot or so much my feet hurt.
- ''Sang my heart out'' means sang really loud or with great effort.
The idioms in the poem not only give you a mental picture, but they also make you think about what the author really means. In this case, the author was pretending the idioms meant exactly what they said instead of their figurative meanings!
Another example of an idiom poem is ''Penny for Your Thoughts'' by an anonymous author:
There are two idioms in this poem. The first is ''penny for your thoughts.'' Although it would be great to get paid for every thought you had, this idiom is used when someone wants to know what you are thinking. Additionally, ''cut the mustard'' is also an idiom. Cutting the mustard means that something is acceptable or good. In this case, the gross chicken did not cut the mustard, so it was not good or acceptable.
Idiom poems are poems that contain idioms. Idioms are phrases that are commonly used and have a figurative meaning, which means they have another meaning than what the words typically mean. Idiom poems can rhyme or not rhyme, be short or long, and can be written about anything.
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Idiom Poems: Lesson for Kids
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