Let’s call it a day. (Everyday idioms in newspapers)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford

Darrin Klimek/DigitalVision/Getty Darrin Klimek/DigitalVision/Getty

As regular readers of this blog will know, now and then we like to focus on frequent idioms – that is, the sort of idioms that you are likely to hear or read in current English. One way in which we do this is by looking at the idioms that are used in a range of national newspapers published on the same day. Here, then, are the common idioms that we found in papers on Monday, December 12th.

One broadsheet newspaper has an article on all the ways that companies nowadays try to make their employees happy at work. According to the author, companies go to great lengths (= use a lot of effort) to make the office environment fun. Elsewhere, the same paper reports that a new movie has swept the board at an international award ceremony. When someone or something sweeps the board…

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New words – 9 January 2016

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

LittleBee80/iStock/Getty LittleBee80/iStock/Getty

breadcrumbernoun [C] UK /ˈbred.krʌməʳ/ US /ˈbred.krʌmɚ/
someone who contacts another person very infrequently

For anyone who’s ever dated, or maintained any kind of relationship in the digital age, you have probably known a breadcrumber. They communicate via sporadic non-committal, but repeated messages – or breadcrumbs – that are just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to seal the deal (whatever that deal may be.)
[New York Times 10 July 2016]

inconvenience feenoun [C] UK /ˌɪn.kənˈviː.ni.əns.fiː/ US /ˌɪn.kənˈviː.n.jəns.fiː/
an amount of money paid to make up for causing someone problems or trouble

Mariah Carey is demanding a $50 million dollar inconvenience fee from her ex-fiancé James Packer. Now that the couple has broken up, Mariah feels as though she wasted her time with the Australian businessman and wants to be compensated for the time she lost.
[www.celebdirtylaundry.com 31 October 2016]

sleep divorcenoun [U] UK /ˈsliːp.dɪ.vɔːs/

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Turning over a new leaf: idioms and phrases for the New Year

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Liz Walter

Lewis Mulatero/Moment Mobile/Getty Lewis Mulatero/Moment Mobile/Getty

New Year is a time when we often take stock of our life (think about what is good or bad about it). We may feel that we should draw a line under the past (finish with it and forget about it) and make a fresh start. This post looks at idioms and other phrases connected with this phenomenon.

If we decide to stop doing something we consider to be bad and to start behaving in a better way, we can say that we are going to turn over a new leaf. We might decide to kick a habit such as smoking (stop doing it), have a crack at (try) a new hobby, or even leave a dead-end job (one with no chance of promotion) or finish a relationship that isn’t going anywhere.

Of course, many of these things are difficult. You…

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