Idioms for Dummies

It would be fair to assume the word “idiom” meant “a gathering of idiots.” But you would be wrong. Funny, but wrong. An idiom is an expression whose figurative meaning is different from its literal meaning. For instance, to rub someone the wrong way means you’ve annoyed someone, not that you suck at giving massages.

Anyway. Here’s a list of random idioms and other random words to go with them.

  • A blessing in disguise. This means something really crappy happened and if you’re lucky, something good will happen several years down the road.
  • You can’t judge a book by its cover. (Especially now when no one reads books. Thanks, Kindle.)
  • A leopard cannot change his spots. True (unless it uses Olay Spot Corrector). But a leopard can hide in the bushes, track you through GPS, hang your photos in his lair and follow you on every social media platform.
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk. I always cry over spilt milk, because I’m usually the one cleaning it up.


  • Going to hell in a hand basket. (Self-explanatory.)
  • Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. He puts you to work weaving hand baskets.
  • No room to swing a cat. This is PETA’s least-favorite idiom.
  • Let the cat out of the bag. (PETA’s second-least-favorite idiom.) Once you let the cat out of the bag, you’d better run like hell because that cat’s gonna be pissed.
  • Practice makes perfect. Not true. After years of practicing being an adult, I’ve decided practice makes frustrated.


  • Run out of steam. Since our homes don’t run on steam, this could mean running out of solar power. That’s not good because then we’re all screwed.
  • Having a sixth sense. This handy talent means you can talk to spirits or receive psychic communication. A seventh sense allows you to communicate with teenagers and small animals.
  • It’s a piece of cake. Referring to something easily done, a piece of cake also easily screws up my intentions to eat healthy.
  • Last but not least. Something you say to your kids when they finish last. It sounds much better than, “You’re the biggest loser. And you’re walking home.”
  • And finally . . .


(It’s illegal in Utah.)

Quirky Behavior?

Everyone has strange tendencies. Some people exhibit OCD inclinations such as extreme hand-washing (not an Olympic event). Other people have creepy behaviors like collecting baby doll heads. Compared to those people, I’m not crazy at all.

Here are some of my quirks that I refuse to call weird:

  • Don’t pour me a glass of milk. This makes total sense to me, but my husband thinks I’ve fallen off the planet Lactosia. First, other people don’t know the EXACT amount of milk I need. Second, they might pour it too soon, and it will be warmish. Milk should be ICE COLD.



(One of these is too full. One is just right. When you can tell the difference, you can pour my milk.)

  • If I eat one Oreo, I must finish the entire package. I’ll tell myself that 3 cookies is one serving. But in my heart, I know that isn’t true. One package is one serving. I’ll eat Oreos until my stomach aches and my poop turns black. And I’ll keep eating Oreos, even after that. It’s an illness.oreos


  • Don’t touch my sides. Or any part of my stomach. Or anywhere near my stomach. This is something from my childhood, I’m sure. Probably from when I was being tickle-tortured by my grandpa. If anyone touches my belly region, they usually end up with a fork stuck in their cheek. Consider yourself warned.
  • Don’t make me a piece of toast. I don’t care if it’s Mother’s Day and my darling children bring me breakfast in bed. I have strict rules for toast-making, and I’m pretty sure you don’t know them. The toast must be toasted perfectly, by my standards. You don’t know my standards. There must be the correct amount of butter melted into the bread and, like my milk, it must be served at the correct temperature. If my toast isn’t still steaming, it goes in the dog dish.


(This is not food. This is charcoal.)

  • My foot must be outside the blankets. Otherwise, I get buried-alive claustrophobic and wake up screaming. I’ve told my husband that when I die, he has to cut a hole in the casket so my foot can stick out. Might make for an awkward viewing, but I don’t care. I’m dead.


(Sometimes the dog licks my foot. Still better than having my leg under the covers.)

  • I can’t listen to stupid people for any length of time. Self-explanatory.
  • I creak. If you’re next to me in a yoga class, you’ll think you’re practicing next to a box of Rice Krispies. Just don’t pour milk on me.

So now you won’t be offended if I come to your house and eat all your Oreos, but won’t drink your milk or eat your toast. And don’t take it personally if I punch you in the throat if you brush up against my obliques. Just an involuntary reaction.

What is your quirky behavior?