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Got an umbrella? It's raining idioms

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Caitlin Hanratty, East

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Caitlin Hanratty, East Rockaway

In school, I am learning about idioms. An idiom is a word or phrase that means something different from its literal meaning.  For example, someone may tell you that the homework was a piece of cake, which means it was easy. But if you eat your homework (the cake), you are not going to get a passing grade!

I looked up a few other popular idioms and their meaning:

  • It's raining cats and dogs. This idiom originated from England in the 17th Century. When it would rain heavily, it would carry along dead animals. Also cats and dogs have associations with bad weather.
  • Cat got your tongue? This idiom originated from the English Navy used to whip a victim with a whip called the cat-o'-nine-tails. It would hurt so much that the victim would not speak for a while.
  • Break a leg. The origin came from a theater superstition that wishing someone good luck is really wishing them bad luck.
  • Cool as a cucumber. In hot weather, cucumbers can be 20 degrees cooler than the air outside.
  • When pigs fly. It describes something that will not happen. 

Cara Grace-Nizich’s fifth-grade class, JFK Elementary School, West Babylon

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