Category Archives: Idioms

Idiom of the Day – They broke the mould when they made you!

StockSnap / Pixabay

When somebody says this idiom to you they usually mean that you are one of a kind, unique, and an incredibly special kind of person. There is nobody else like you, because after you were created the mould that you came out of was broken to make sure that no more yous could be made. (Think moulds in a factory mass-producing something. In American English it is spelled mold.)

So the meaning is often positive and may be used in a romantic situation or to flatter somebody by telling them how great they are. However, it can also have a negative meaning due to the ambiguity of the word when. If when means ‘while’ or ‘at the time of’ making you, then the meaning is positive, but if when means ‘after’ making you, the meaning is negative, e.g. ‘they broke the mould deliberately so that no more yous could be created – because I/we don’t like you.’

We can also use this idiom sarcastically, when somebody makes a trivial mistake or says something a bit silly, to point out that we think they are original or unusual – not run-of-the-mill. Not normal.

It’s rather an old-fashioned idiom, so we might expect an older person to use it. It may be used as a quite corny chat-up line. A bit like this line: ‘Are you sure you aren’t tired?’ ‘Why? ‘Because you’ve been running through my mind all day!’

Positive meaning:

On a first date:

Jemima: I’m so glad you invited me to this party.

Alan: I’m so happy you said yes! You know, Jemima – they broke the mould when they made you!

Jemima: Oh don’t be silly. (Pause) Really?

Negative meaning:

Frida: My boss has been on my back all morning about the Jensen account. What a dork!

Olga: He’s always on your case! What an odd guy he is. Sad, really. You know, they really broke the mould when they made him.

Frida: I hope they did!

Sarcastic meaning:

Tom: Oww!

Ida: What?

Tom: I’ve just realised that today is Wednesday, not Tuesday! I’ve spent all day thinking it was Tuesday! What an idiot!

Ida: What are you like! You know, they really broke the mould when they made you!

Idiom of the day – Get that Friday feeling!

johny_deff / Pixabay

If you’ve got ‘that Friday feeling‘ you are ready for the weekend and in the mood for fun and relaxation. This is the kind of thing you could say when you get into work on a Friday morning – it means you are happy because work will soon be finished and it’s time to celebrate the fact that two days of holiday (the weekend) is on the horizon. However, not everybody might share or appreciate your cheery demeanour:

Jeremy: Morning, Carol.

Carol: Morning, Jeremy. What are you so happy about?

Jeremy: It’s Friday! It’s nearly the weekend! I can’t wait. I’m going to a massive party with my mates in Cornwall! What about you, Carol? Have you got anything planned for the weekend?

Carol: Not really. I’ll probably do my ALDI big shop tomorrow.

Jeremy: Oh, cheer up, Carol! It’s Friday!

Carol: So you keep saying. I’ve got to get all these accounts finished by four.

Idiom of the day – It’s just one of those things

hpgruesen / Pixabay

We say ‘It’s just one of those things‘ about a situation that we don’t like but that we can neither explain nor change. It often refers to something trivial, rather than life-or-death serious. We often accompany this sentiment with a slightly confused shrug of the shoulders:

‘Why did the train have to be late? Today of all days! I really needed to get to work on time.’

‘I don’t know. It was just one of those things, I suppose.’


‘Why is our broadband reception so poor?’

‘Don’t ask me. I guess it’s just one of those things.’

‘No! I’m going to change our supplier!’


‘Why does the toilet paper always tend to run out just at the worst possible moment?’

‘I haven’t got a clue. It’s probably just one of those things.’

Idiom of the day – They’re a match made in heaven

The English idiom ‘a match made in heaven’ is used to describe a couple who seem absolutely perfect together. They are so suitable for each other that it seems as though their relationship was preordained (arranged in advance) ‘in heaven’.

Olivia: Did you hear that Gerry and Eve have got engaged?

Greta: Yes! Isn’t it cute? I’m so happy for them. They’re so well suited.

Olivia: Yes, they’re such a perfect couple – and on Valentine’s Day too!

Greta: Aah. They’re a match made in heaven, I’d say.

Idiom of the day – Better late than never

JESHOOTS / Pixabay

We use the English idiom ‘better late than never’ to show that we are relieved that somebody or something is coming, while at the same time expressing annoyance that they or it will be late.

[On the phone:]

Peter: Will you be able to bring my laptop back tonight? I really need it to finish my assignment.

Greta: Sure. I’ll be round at about ten. Will that be alright?

Peter: I’ll probably be asleep by then, Greta!

Greta: Sorry! I won’t be there till at least ten, because I’m working at the club till nine thirty.

Peter: OK. Don’t worry. Better late than never.

Idiom of the day – It’s the best thing since sliced bread

Meditations / Pixabay

We use the English idiom ‘It’s the best thing since sliced bread’ to describe something that we think is fantastic or wonderful.

Peter: Can you show me your new phone?

Greta: Here it is.

Peter: Oh, it’s a new iPhone X. These are really amazing. Look at that screen!

Greta: I know. It can do everything – and more! It’s the best thing since sliced bread.

The only question is – what was the best thing before sliced bread was invented?

Idiom of the day – It’s no skin off my nose!

85Miranda / Pixabay

The English idiom ‘It’s no skin off my nose’ means ‘It doesn’t affect me’ or ‘It doesn’t bother me’.

John: So you didn’t get an invitation to the party then?

Peter: No. Did you?

John: Yes, of course! I bet you feel disappointed, don’t you?

Peter: No! It’s no skin off my nose. I didn’t want to go anyway.

Podcast 28. Telling the Time in English

FREE Podcast! 28. Telling the Time in English

Learn how to tell the time in English!

In this podcast you can learn how to tell the time in English. Find all the information that I mention here:

https://purlandtraining.com/free-lessons/elementary-english-course/unit-2-0-transport/lesson-2-7-telling-the-time/

You can find the answers to all the exercises here:

https://purlandtraining.com/free-lessons/elementary-english-course/unit-2-0-transport-answer-pack/

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