Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 3. In this lesson you have 3 American English idioms to read, listen to, translate, and pronounce in English. Please focus and do your best so that you can learn and improve your knowledge of American English idioms. Don’t forget to use the comments section below to share your thoughts and what you’ve learned today.
Directions 1: Watch the video 2 or more times, and pay close attention to the audio and text.
Directions 2: Read the following text in English, then translate it using the translator on this page into your language if needed. When you finish, feel free to write a comment in the comments section below and let us know how you feel about what you’ve learned, as well as what you’ve learned.
ALBATROSS AROUND (ONE’S) NECK something or someone that is a burden and difficult to get rid of
1. That car costs you so much to repair. It has become an albatross around your neck. Why don’t you get rid of it?
2. I hired my wife’s brother to work in my business but he’s worthless. He doesn’t do anything. He really is an albatross around my neck.
Synonym: millstone around (one’s) neck
An albatross is a large sea bird. The expression comes from the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel T. Coleridge, in which a sailor shoots a helpful albatross with a crossbow, bringing bad luck on the crew of the ship. The other sailors hang the bird around the sailor’s neck as punishment.
ALL KIDDING ASIDE speaking seriously
1. That was a good joke, but all kidding aside, we have to get to work now.
2. What you’re telling me sounds unbelievable. All kidding aside, are you serious?
ALL THUMBS uncoordinated and awkward, especially with one’s hands
1. I’ve tried to put this toy together according to the instructions, but I’m all thumbs. I can’t seem to get the parts to fit.
2. Peter seems to be all thumbs today. He keeps dropping his tools.