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.

A Hot Potato

The phrase ‘ a hot potato’ usually means: a delicate subject which people have different opinions and feel very emotional about.

Example of use: “I never ask about anyone’s marital status; it can be a hot potato.”

Method To My Madness

This funny phrase: ‘method to my madness’ means that there is often a reason behind someone’s mysterious behavior.

Example of use: “At the start of his presentation, it seemed that he’s out of his mind, but when he finished, we saw that there’s method in his madness.”

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Add Fuel To The Fire

The phrase ‘add fuel to the fire means when you do or say something that makes a miserable situation even worse. ‘Adding fuel to the fire’ means to make a situation or conflict intensify, especially via provocative comments.

Example of use: “I had plenty to say about the situation, but I was afraid I would add fuel to the fire. So I kept my mouth shut” 

‘“John only added fuel to the fire when he accused the other team of cheating.”


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Miss The Boat

The phrase ‘miss the boat’ literally means: to miss a good opportunity.

Example of use: “My friends are off to ski. I missed the boat this time, but I will join them next season”.

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Take With A Grain Of Salt

The phrase ‘take with a grain of salt’ means that the listener should to take the source of the information as prone to be unreliable or exaggerated.

Example of use: “Yolanda tells some great stories, but we take what she says with a grain of salt because she has quite a vivid imagination and tends to exaggerate.”

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Add Insult to Injury

The phrase ‘add insult to injury’ is used in a situation when something happened or was said that upset you, after you’ve already been upset about something else.

Example of use: “My car broke down in the middle of nowhere, then, to add insult to injury, it started to rain.”

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Kill Two birds With One Stone

The phrase: ‘kill two birds with one stone’ simply means solving two tasks at the same time or with one single action.

Example of use: “Whenever I jog, I like listening to English rap music. That way, I kill two birds with one stone; I stay fit whilst I improve my English language skills.”

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Speak of the Devil

“Speak of the Devil” simply means when a person mentioned in the current conversation happens to walk into the room.

Example of use: “We were huddled around the tv, talking about Fred, when he walked in. Well, speak of the devil!”

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Cutting Corners

The phrase ‘cutting corners’ is defined when someone tries to do something as cheaply or as quickly as possible, often sacrificing quality.

Example of use: “It is certainly not a sensible to cut corners on your children’s education.”

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Once in a Blue Moon

The meaning of the phrase ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ is something that happens very rarely. However, in the past, the meaning of the phrase was something that was preposterous and unreasonable.

Example of use: “I have only 2 more months till my wedding, so I allow myself to eat fast food only once in a blue moon.”

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Burning the Midnight Oil

The phrase ‘burning the midnight oil’ implies working overtime and working over normal standards.

Example of use: “The assignment was very difficult, so I was forced to burn the midnight oil to get it done on time” 

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