Monday, October 18, 2010


An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words.
Three examples follow. Each has the word "flesh" in it.

Pound of flesh
If someone wants their pound of flesh, they force someone to pay or give back something owed, even though they don't need it and it will cause the other person a lot of difficulty.

Press the flesh
When people, especially politicians, press the flesh, they meet members of the public and shake their hands, usually when trying to get support.

Flesh and blood
Your flesh and blood are your blood relatives, especially your immediate family.

Both in writing and in every day speech, sayings and expressions are repeated without any real thought to where they come from or why people say them.
But these combination of words have weathered centuries of usage and can only be supplanted by more current and effective combination of words.

An example might be " deer in the headlights" meaning too stunned to move.

Idioms might be a problem for those who are new to the language.To the crossword solver, the idiom is a regular feature in most 15 by 15 grids.

Try your hand at solving a few of them in this series.

But before that - can you spot the idiom that is the subject of a pun in the following dialogue from MASH , an old TV series based on the goings-on in an army medical unit in the Korean War?

Captain : He was dishonorably discharged.
Hawkeye : Why? Was he rotten to the corps?

A1. Greeting to right girl not having consistent effect. (3-2-4) _ I _ _ _ _ _ _ S

B1. Return fixture football team to play at last , no matter what ! (3,4,2) _ _ _ N _ _ _ I _

C1. The conifers' weight eclipsed by potato : brilliant ! (2,3,5,5) _ _ _ _ E _ I _ _ _ _ _ T _ _


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