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|1. Everything but the Kitchen Sink
When Erin went away to college, she took everything but the kitchen sink.
Meaning: practically everything there is; every possible object whether needed or not
Origin: This expression was born in the early 20th century and became popular after Would War II (the late 1940s). The kitchen sink is heavy, connected to pipes, and usually bolted down, so it's not easily movable. But if you took everything but the kitchen sink, you'd be taking virtually all there was.
Related sayings are "from soup to nuts" and "from A to Z."
2. Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Nancy missed the school bus, but every cloud has a silver lining. She also missed the math test.
Meaning: there is something good in every bad situation
Origin: This expression of hope was used by the English poet John Milton in 1634. He must have noticed that if the sun is behind a dark cloud, light shines out around the edges like a silver lining. With this idiom, Milton said that even the worst situation ("cloud") has something hopeful or more positive about it ("silver lining").
3. Feel Your Oats
Ms. Blumenthal was dancing, laughing, and feeling her oats.
Meaning: to be in high spirits, energetic; to act in a proud way
Origin: This American expression from the early 19th century originated when a writer noticed that his horse always acted more lively and vigorous when it was well-fed with oats. The writer applied the idea to people, often older ones, and wrote that a peppy, active person was "feeling his oats."
4. Feet of Clay
In American history we learned that many Presidents had feet of clay.
Meaning: a hidden fault of character; a weak point
Origin: In the Bible (Daniel 2:31-32), the king of a great empire once dreamed of a statue with a head of gold, a body of silver and brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. The statue broke and its pieces blew away in the wind. the king's prophet interpreted the dream to mean that the empire would eventually break up. Even today, people who are highly regarded may have secret flaws of character ("feet of clay") that could ruin their reputations.
5. Give Me Five
My little cousin always yells, 'Give me five!'
Meaning: to slap a person's hand as a hearty greeting or a sign of solid agreement
Origin: "Five" in this 20th-century African-American expression refers to fingers on your hand. Giving someone your five fingers (and your palm, too) is a common gesture when meeting. (A similar saying is "give me some skin.") This way of saying hello, showing harmony, or celebrating victory comes from a style of communication used in West Africa.
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