Phrase of the Day

Ginger’s Phrase of the Day provides you with a daily dose of interesting facts and trivia on some of the more, and less, common phrases in the English language. Learn the real meaning behind these phrases, when and how to use them and other less-known info behind each phrase.

Punch Above One’s Weight

The term ‘punch above one’s weight’ means performing or achieving results better than expected and beyond one’s ability, skill, experience etc.

Example of use: “Although Brad isn’t the best track runner, I think that if he trains hard and punches above his weight, he’ll be able to qualify for the upcoming competition.”

Much Ado about Nothing

The phrase ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ is used when someone is overreacting and makes a big deal of fuss over something unimportant.

Example of use: “Some people make a big fuss about which seat they’ll get on the plane, but as far as I can see it’s much ado about nothing, since everyone will get to the same destination at precisely the same time.” 

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Nothing to Sneeze At

‘Nothing to Sneeze At’ means something that is not an inconsequential matter, not a trifling thing.

Example of use: “When Daniel was chosen to be valedictorian, he was so proud, because the honor of being chosen to represent your entire class is nothing to sneeze at.”                                                                                    

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Prima Donna

The phrase ‘Prima Donna’ is usually used to describe someone who behaves in a demanding and arrogant way, often expecting special treatment and usually unable to work well with others.

Example of use: “When I served that famous singer in my restaurant, she requested that the chef change almost all the ingredients in her pasta, changed tables 4 different times and then got upset when the main course didn’t’ arrive as soon as she’d finished her hors d’oeuvre!! She’s truly the biggest Prima Donna I have ever met.”

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Hit the Ground Running

‘Hit the Ground Running’ means to immediately start an activity and work very hard and with full commitment.

Example of use: “As soon as the CEO approval of the new product came through, the entire office hit the ground running”.

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Backseat Driver

A Backseat Driver is someone who gives unwanted and unneeded advice, and sometimes also criticism. A Backseat Driver usually interfers in affairs without having the authority and knowledge to do so.

Example of use: “Daisy is such a backseat driver, she needs to stop interfering – no one asked for her advice.” 

“Jake tries to sound like an authority on the subject but he’s actually a backseat driver.”

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Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

The phrase ‘champagne taste on a beer budget’ refers to someone who lives above her means and likes expensive things she can’t possibly afford.

Example of use:  Laura – “I can’t believe Kimberly spent her entire salary on her red Jimmy Choo’s.” Dana– “That doesn’t surprise me at all, she has a champagne taste on a beer budget.”

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No Spring Chicken

The phrase ‘No Spring Chicken’ is usually used in a negative way to describe someone who is no longer young, probably past his young adulthood, and sometimes doesn’t realize it and tries to look and act younger than his age.

Example of use: “I don’t know how old Mike is, but obviously he is no spring chicken.”

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Putting Lipstick on a Pig

‘Putting Lipstick on a Pig’ is a rhetorical term generally used in reference to someone who’s trying to make cosmetic or superficial changes on himself that clearly doesn’t deceive anyone.

Example of useMarla – “Did you see Susan’s new hairdo? I guess she thought that cutting her bangs and coloring her hair bright orange looks good.” Joe – “Oh please, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig.

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Comfort Food

‘Comfort Food’ is  food that gives emotional comfort and provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the person eating it. It’s usually prepared in a traditional way and reminds the person of her childhood, home, family and friends.

Example of use: Jessie –”Every time I get upset, I ask my husband to make me a big bowl of Grandma’s delicious creamy Mac & cheese and imagine myself  sitting in her kitchen, with not a worry in the world.” Emma –”Wow, that sounds like the perfect comfort food. The only thing my Grandmother could make was Apfelstrudel, and I hate apples.” 

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Brass Monkey Weather

The phrase ‘Brass Monkey Weather’ refers to very cold weather that is extremely out of the ordinary; cold enough to freeze the tail, nose and ears of a brass monkey.

Example of use: “According to Al Roker next week’s weather is going to be so cold, that it’ll be real brass monkey weather.”  

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