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The 10 Funniest English Sayings And Their Meanings - Articles Surfing

Learning English vocabulary let alone the grammar that goes along with it can be difficult enough, but when presented with some of the common English sayings that don't seem to make much sense can be cause for a little confusion. The confusion is especially prevalent in those learning how to speak the English language, so it is good to know what some of the common sayings mean in order to not be left in the dark.

'I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.'

This saying is very common, especially if the 'that' referred to in the sentence is something that is not liked. Maybe it is a garbage can or a person that is strongly disliked. Obviously, the person making the statement will not go within ten feet.

'I'm happy as a clam.'

A clam? How is a clam happy? A clam sits at the bottom of the ocean doing absolutely nothing. It doesn't have to go to work every day, it doesn't get sick, it doesn't know what stress is, and it gets to 'chill out' at the bottom of the sea. That is true happiness.

'In order to get the handsome prince, you have to kiss a lot of toads.'

This saying is referring to how many times a woman must survive bad relationships before she finds the right man to be in her life. She is referring to the men in the bad relationships as toads and the 'one' the handsome prince.

'A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.'

This saying rings very true in that those who have a clear conscience obviously do not remember the various indiscretions in their life. In other words, they are deceiving themselves to think they have nothing to feel guilty about.

'When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane."

This saying in its literal sense makes one think of driving the wrong way on a one way street or highway. However, in reference to life, if everything negative is coming at the person at once, then they are doing something wrong or moving in the wrong direction.

'Death is hereditary.'

There is not a single person who has been immortal. This saying deals with the morbid fact that everyone dies, therefore it is considered 'hereditary.'

'When in doubt, tell the truth.'

This saying, coined by Mark Twain, was his sarcastic way of telling liars who forgot or questioned the contents of their lie to simply tell the truth.

'Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.'

It is inevitable that we will not live forever, although there are so many people who hope for it and even do all they can to live forever. However, death is a part of life and those who try to conquer it will fail in their attempts.

'To bite off more than one can chew.'

This saying refers to taking on a task that is just too big. If someone decides to climb a mountain and they've never climbed a mountain before, they have bitten off more than they can chew.

'Beat around the bush.'

When beating around the bush, a person is avoiding talking about something unpleasant, so they don't refer directly to the subject at hand.

These are some of the most humorous and common English sayings that many encounter from day-to-day. Being familiar with them and knowing their meanings can help a person learning English understand what others are referring to when they use these sayings in their everyday language. Maybe then they can use the sayings in their own conversations.

Submitted by:

Marie Roehampton

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