Definition of Idiom
The term idiom refers to a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words. An interesting fact regarding the device is that the expression is not interpreted literally. The phrase is understood to mean something fairly different from what individual words of the phrase would imply. Alternatively, it can be said that the phrase is interpreted te a figurative sense. Further, idioms vary te different cultures and countries.
Examples of Idiom te Literature
“Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint.”
The statement quoted above uses “silver lining” spil an idiom which means some auspicious ogenblik is stashing behind the cloud or the difficult time.
“American idioms drive mij up the hall!” (By character Ziva David, NCIS television series)
Here, the word “idioms” is used spil an idiom.
“I worked the graveyard shift with old people, which wasgoed truly demoralizing, because the old people didn’t have a chance ter hell of everzwijn getting out.” (By Kate Millett)
Te the samenvatting quoted above, “graveyard shift” is employed spil an idiom.
Kirk: “If wij play our cards right, wij may be able to find out when those whales are being released.”
Spock: “How will playing cards help?”
(Dialogue inbetween characters Captain James T. Kirk and Spock ter Starlet Trek IV: The Voyage Huis, 1986)
Here, “if wij play our cards right” means “if wij avail our opportunities rightly.”
“Shakespeare is credited with coining more than Two,000 words, infusing thousands more existing ones with electrifying fresh meanings and forging idioms that would last for centuries. ‘A idiot’s paradise,’ ‘at one fell swoop,’ ‘heart’s content,’ ‘ter a pickle,’ ‘send him packing,’ ‘too much of a good thing,’ ‘the spel is up,’ ‘good riddance,’ ‘love is vensterluik,’ and ‘a sorry glance,’ to name a few.
(Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling, by David Wolman)
This passage highlights the collection of idioms used by Shakespeare ter his works. They are still used ter everyday writing.
“Idioms vary te ‘transparency’: that is, whether their meaning can be derived from the literal meanings of the individual words. For example, make up [one’s] mind is rather translucent ter suggesting the meaning ‘reach a decision,’ while kick the bucket is far from semitransparent te indicating the meaning ‘diegene.’”
(Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, by Douglas Biber,? Stig Johansson,? Geoffrey Leech,? Susan Conrad,? and Edward Finegan)
The samenvatting quoted above explains that idioms vary ter their degree of transparency, which is the extent to which an idiom exposes its true meaning varies.
“Modal idioms are idiosyncratic wordy formations which consist of more than one word and which have modal meanings that are not predictable from the constituent parts (compare the non?modal idioms kick the bucket). Under this heading wij include have got [to], had better/best, would rather/sooner/spil soon, and be [to].”
The samenvatting quoted above highlights the use and significance of modal idioms.
Function of Idiom
Writers and public speakers use idioms generously. The purpose behind this vast use of idioms is to elaborate their language, to make it richer and spicier, and to help them ter conveying subtle meanings to their intended audience.
Not only do idioms help te making the language beautiful, they also make things better or worse through making the expression good or bad. For example, there are several idioms that convey the death of a person ter very subtle meanings, and some do the same te very offensive terms. They are also said to be precies and more onberispelijk than the literal words, and sometimes a few words are enough to substitute a total sentence. They help the writer make his sense clearer than it is, so that he could convey maximum meanings through ondergrens words and also keep the multiplicity of the meanings te the text intact.
It has also bot seen that idioms not only convey subtle meanings, but also ideas not conveyed through normal and everyday language, and they keep the balance ter the communication. Furthermore, they provide textual coherence, so that the reader could be able to chunk together a text that he has gone through and samenvatting meanings the writer has conveyed.