Modern Idioms (and where they come from)


What are modern idioms?

Just like words, idioms spring into life and die out in any language. This site is dedicated to the meaning and origin of "modern" idioms, derived from TV, movies, internet cuture, sport, literature and other sources. What counts as "modern" is up for debate, but the majority of the phrases listed here can be traced to some time in the second half of the 20th Century, making them considerably more recent than most English idioms. You can read a full alphabetical list of idioms here.

Occasionally we post interesting articles about idioms (and language more generally) on the Blog page. Use the Contact page to suggest new entries and we will do our best to add them. Other useful websites dealing with idioms can be found on the Links page. And if you want to read more about modern idioms, you can always buy our book.

Listen to us talking about modern idioms on BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth here.

Show me idioms that come from...

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