Learn American idioms and phrases through conversation: Topic – Go on picnic

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Helena Daily English
Helena Daily Englishhttps://helenadailyenglish.com
One of the best ways to improve communication skills is to become familiar with the language by reading, building vocabulary, and discussing what you study in daily conversations. Helena Daily English blog provides the Daily English knowledge that you can study and then try to apply in everyday situations

Hi everyone

Learning American idioms through conversation can be an effective and engaging way to grasp the nuances of language. Idioms are often deeply rooted in culture, and understanding them can provide insight into the social context of conversations.

1. Summary of the conversation between Jeff, Madeline and Simon

In this conversation, Jeff welcomes Madeline and Simon to his countryside home. Simon took the scenic route, leading to a bit of delay, and they acknowledge the remote location, describing it as off the beaten track. Despite getting mixed up, they arrive and decide to shake off the dust. Jeff suggests freshening up while he whips up guacamole. They plan to unwind and catch up on the porch.

Later, they discuss the tranquility of the countryside and Jeff’s transition from city life, avoiding culture shock. Jeff feels at home in the boondocks despite initial challenges. He talks about snapping out of writer’s block and finishing his manuscript. They toast to his success.

The conversation touches on Jeff’s interactions with locals, feeling like a fish out of water initially. Jeff’s secret weapon to break the ice is his famous guacamole, which gained him acceptance in the community. They enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and look forward to a relaxing weekend away from the rat race.

2. American idiom list and example

  1. To take the scenic route: to get lost and take a long time to reach a destination.
    • Example: Instead of following the GPS, we decided to take the scenic route through the mountains, and it ended up taking us twice as long to reach the cabin.
  2. Off the beaten track: Remote, faraway, hard to get to, and not very well known
    • Example: We found this charming little village completely off the beaten track, away from the touristy areas.
  3. Mixed-up: Confused
    • Example: After the confusing directions, we were all mixed-up and had trouble finding the right way.
  4. It will be a cold day in hell before something happens: It is highly unlikely or improbable that something will happen
    • Example: If they ever agree on that proposal, it will be a cold day in hell.
  5. The middle of nowhere: A very remote place, especially someplace wild and far away from people or towns
    • Example: The cabin was nice, but it was in the middle of nowhere—no neighbors, no shops, just nature.
  6. To wing it: To do something without following instructions or directions. To improvise
    • Example: I forgot my speech notes, so I had to wing it during the presentation.
  7. To shake off the dust: To rest and compose yourself after a long trip, as if you had been walking for a long time and were covered in dust from the road.
    • Example: After the long hike, we found a spot to shake off the dust and relax by the river.
  8. To freshen up: To wash up and relax
    • Example: Before the party, she took a few minutes to freshen up and change into a clean outfit.
  9. To whip up: To prepare something, especially food
    • Example: With limited ingredients, she managed to whip up a delicious dinner for unexpected guests.
  10. To catch up: To talk and share recent news after not having seen someone in a while
    • Example: Over coffee, we caught up on each other’s lives since we hadn’t seen each other in years.
  11. To unwind: To relax and free yourself from stress
    • Example: After a stressful week, she decided to unwind by taking a long bath and reading a good book.
  12. To kick off: To begin something
    • Example: The concert will kick off with an opening performance by a local band.
  13. R and R (Rest and Relaxation): Rest and Relaxation
    • Example: After months of hard work, they decided to take a weekend off for some much-needed R and R.
  14. To recharge the batteries: To rest and regain physical and psychological strength.
    • Example: Going on a beach vacation is a great way to recharge the batteries and clear your mind.
  15. A weekend getaway: A place to go to for the weekend where you can rest and relax
    • Example: The cabin by the lake is our favorite weekend getaway spot.
  16. The rat race: The total system of life centered around working hard—commuting, struggling to be successful and get ahead, dealing with the stresses of life, worrying about bills, etc
    • Example: Some people choose a simpler lifestyle in the countryside to escape the rat race of the city.
  17. Culture shock: Reaction to a very significant change in way of life
    • Example: Moving to a new country can often result in experiencing culture shock as you adapt to a different way of life.
  18. The sticks: The country. A rural area
    • Example: He grew up in the city but now lives in the sticks, surrounded by fields and forests.
  19. A fish out of water: Out of place, not in your natural environment
    • Example: At the formal event, he felt like a fish out of water, not used to such elegant surroundings.
  20. The boondocks: The country, the rural areas far away from cities or big towns
    • Example: Their new house is out in the boondocks, far from the conveniences of city life.
  21. A place to hang your hat: A place to call home, a place to feel at home
    • Example: After years of traveling, she finally found a place to hang her hat and call home.
  22. To pan out: To be successful, to work out well
    • Example: We weren’t sure if the plan would work, but in the end, everything panned out perfectly.
  23. To snap out of it: To recover after a state of confusion, sadness, or psychological fatigue
    • Example: After a moment of confusion, he managed to snap out of it and focus on the task at hand.
  24. The locals: The people who live in a certain place. The local people
    • Example: The locals were friendly and eager to share their traditions with the newcomers.
  25. To stick out like a sore thumb: To be very visible or obvious
    • Example: Wearing casual clothes at a formal event made her stick out like a sore thumb.
  26. To size someone up: To examine or evaluate someone, especially visually
    • Example: When meeting new people, she had a habit of sizing them up to get a sense of their character.
  27. To give someone the cold shoulder: To fail to be warm and welcoming to someone, to ignore someone, especially on purpose
    • Example: Despite being in the same group, she couldn’t ignore the fact that he gave her the cold shoulder throughout the meeting.
  28. To start from square one: To start again, to start a process from the very beginning
    • Example: After the setback, we had to start from square one and rebuild the project.
  29. To reach out: To extend a welcome to a person
    • Example: If you ever need help, don’t hesitate to reach out—I’m always here for you.
  30. To make small talk: To make insignificant conversation with someone, especially only to be polite
    • Example: At social events, people often make small talk about the weather or current events.
  31. To break the ice: To put an end to a time of silence or lack of communication
    • Example: Playing a fun icebreaker game helped break the ice at the team-building workshop.
  32. Lined up at your door: Eager and in large numbers
    • Example: After announcing the sale, customers were lined up at the door, eager to get the best deals.
  33. To raise eyebrows: To bring attention to yourself, to cause people to notice you as someone different or unconventional
    • Example: Her unconventional fashion choices tended to raise eyebrows at formal events.
  34. Good old-fashioned: Traditional
    • Example: They enjoyed a good old-fashioned family picnic with homemade food and games.
  35. On the clock: On a strict schedule, especially on working time
    • Example: When you’re on the clock, it’s important to stay focused and productive at work.

3. Conversation between Jeff, Madeline and Simon

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