Idioms:Head and Hair

Head & Hair

In today’s 10 minute lesson, we are going to look at some new idioms we can use in our general conversation.

Do you know any English idioms connected with the body? In this lesson, you’re going to learn some idiomatic phrases using the head and hair.

It’s like banging your head against a brick wall.

In English, if you try to do something over and over and you never succeed, you can describe the experience as banging your head against a brick wall.

He has got his head in the clouds.

In English, if someone is always thinking about their hopes and dreams and not paying attention to the real world, we can say “he’s got his head in the clouds”.

She has her head screwed on right.

In English, if someone has very good judgment and is able to make good decisions, we say that they have their head screwed on right.

Read Sara’s story to see how the idioms are used.

Sara, Singapore

I am a journalist for a local newspaper. I’ve been working on one project recently that I’m having a hard time finishing.  Everyday I feel like I’m just banging my head against a brick wall! No matter how I write the story, I just don’t like how it sounds.  Perhaps I’m having trouble because my head has been in the clouds for the past week.  I keep imagining that I’ll be offered a promotion!  Of course, if my boss thinks that my head isn’t screwed on right, I’ll never get a promotion.  I’d better get to work!

Do you have any similar experiences to Sara’s?

I let my hair down.

In English, if you act more relaxed than you normally are and enjoy yourself, you can say that you let your hair down.

She’s always getting in my hair.

In English, if someone is bothering or annoying you, you can say that they are in your hair.

I’m tearing my hair out.

In English, if we are very anxious or upset about something we can say “I am tearing my hair out.”

Read Sean’s story to see how the idioms are used.

Last weekend, I decided to let my hair down with a couple of friends.  I was under a lot of pressure at work, and I just needed some time to relax.  Although I had fun, sometimes when I go out with my friends I just feel like tearing my hair out!  First of all, James couldn’t decide where to go, so we drove around the city for 3 hours!  Then, when we finally found a good place, Dave kept asking me for money because he had forgotten his wallet.  No matter where I went I couldn’t get him out of my hair.  In the end though, I was able to enjoy myself because, at the very least, it was better than being at work!

Try using the idioms in a sentence and send me your answers.

It’s like banging your head against a brick wall.
He has got his head in the clouds.
She has her head screwed on right.
I let my hair down.
She’s always getting in my hair.
I’m tearing my hair out.

Note: I have adapted my 10 minute lessons from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

Register for a free demo

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Idioms with numbers

Hello ESL friends,

Have you ever heard a native English speaker using some interesting slang or idioms to express their feelings in a conversation?
For example, have you ever heard someone says he or she is “dressed to the nines”? What do you think that means?
In today’s 10 minute lesson we will be focusing on some idioms relating to numbers that many native speakers use in their daily conversations.

At the eleventh hour 

An expression used to describe something that happens when it is almost too late, or at the last possible moment.
E.g.  John never has his project ready on time. He always leaves his work until the eleventh hour.

Dressed to the nines 

An expression used when someone is wearing very smart or glamorous clothes.
E.g. Wow! Why are you dressed to the nines? Is there a special occasion or what?

First and foremost

An expression used to state what a person considers to be more important than anything else.
E.g. I would like to give gratitude to my wonderful team first and foremost because if it wasn’t for them, this marketing plan would never have achieved such great results!

Five o’clock shadow  

An expression used to refer to the stubble on a man’s face at the end of the day when he had shaved early in the morning.
E.g. Before your date, you’d better go home and shave because that five o’clock shadow looks unattractive.

Get (or catch) forty winks

An expression used to describe a short sleep or rest, generally during the day.
E.g. He normally tries to get forty winks after lunch everyday.

One in a million

An expression used to describe something rare or unique.

E.g. Receiving a promotion within your first year at a company is really a one in a million chance

Two peas in a pod 

An expression used to say that two people are very similar.
E.g. Gina and Wendy have been two peas in a pod ever since they met in elementary school.

One-upmanship

An expression used to refer to the art of gaining and keeping the advantage over other people.
E.g. Despite the fact that his one-upmanship has made him an unpleasant man to be friends with, the success he has achieved in his career is still impressive.

Writing exercises.

If you would like to practice your writing skills, you can write answers to these questions and send your answers to me.

  1. Have you ever one-upped someone?  What did you do, and how did you feel about it?
  2. Could you and any one of your friends be considered two peas in a pod?  Tell the class why you are so close.
  3. When looking for a new job, what should be done first and foremost in your opinion?
  4. Do you find it necessary to catch forty winks before an important event (such as a meeting, party, etc.)?
  5. Have you ever done something “at the eleventh hour”? Describe it to your consultant and fellow students.
Try using the idioms you’ve learned today to talk about an interesting working experience of yours.
Getting my job was a one in a million chance.  I worked very hard to one-up all of the other applicants.  For example, I got letters of recommendation from some people who were very important in the community. I also made sure to get forty winks before I went to the interview so that I could be at my best…

That’s all for now, see you back here real soon.
Scott

Note: I have adapted my 10 minute lessons from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

Register for a free demo