Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 9. 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.


Bad blood is the negative feelings that are harbored between two people or groups. They are usually due to an argument or disagreement. Bad blood is not necessarily revengeful, but it is usually the result of bad feelings over time, which can lead to more animosity.

Blood which is seen as negative or ill feelings can be seen in various ways. In the case of what is known as bad blood, there is a longstanding feud between two groups. For years, these groups have been fighting, but recently a cease-fire has been called. What brings bad blood to a new level is when it starts to affect other people and their relationships with one another.

BAD BLOOD is an idiom that means negative feelings, ill feelings or animosity. It can be traced back to medieval Europe when werewolves would be killed by the villagers before they could transform into their wolf form to terrorize the village. Everyone in the village was related to each other so if someone in the village was killed, it was likely that it would have bad blood with another person in the village.

The phrase bad blood is commonly used to refer to any form of hostility or hatred that has existed for a long time. It may also be used to imply that the bad blood between two people could lead to violence.


It’s bad to bark up the wrong tree. This phrase is used to indicate that one has headed in the wrong direction or gone down the wrong path. Barking up the wrong tree can sometimes be a literal act; if someone is chasing a dog but follows the dog’s barking only to find out it was actually at a cat, it would be said they have barked up the wrong tree.

There are several meanings to this phrase, but the most common use is to misdirect one’s efforts or argument. For example, you might say “Don’t bark up the wrong tree” to someone who’s trying to figure out what happened in a mystery novel by saying “Stop trying to figure out what happened in this mystery novel – I’m not telling you!

This is a phrase which means to mislead someone about the direction they should take to find something. It may originate from sailors who would climb up into the rigging of ships and look for other vessels on the horizon, looking like trees on land.

A phrase that is often used in this context is ‘barking up the wrong tree’. This saying originates from the early 1900s, but it’s meaning was lost until recently. The phrase suggests that the person doing the barking is misdirecting their efforts or argument. In other words, they are going in a direction that will not lead to their goal.


Bats in someone’s belfry is a harmless expression meaning to be eccentric or crazy, but in a good way. It is usually used to describe an interesting person, who has their own unique perspective on life. It can also be used when describing an idea that may seem weird at first, but you eventually come to understand or agree about its merits.

Bats in your belfry is a term used to describe someone who is harmlessly crazy or eccentric. It typically refers to people who have a complex academic jargon. They can use a lot of words that sound alike and refer to the same thing, often not being able to explain what they are trying to say.

If you are familiar with the phrase, “bats in one’s belfry,” then you know that it is an idiom that means to be crazy or eccentric. The phrase can be traced back to the 14th century and was popularized by Shakespeare. It is used usually as a lighthearted insult if someone has gone off the deep end mentally.

An individual’s belfry can be looked at as their mind. When an individual is obsessively worried, they are said to have bats in their belfry. This is most often seen in individuals who are paranoid or delusional.

A phrase meaning to be out of one’s mind. It may be used as a strong accusation or as an observation of somebody else who appears to be acting violently, irrationally, or without thinking.

4 thoughts on “BAD BLOOD, BARK UP THE WRONG TREE, and BATS IN (ONE’S) BELFRY, HAVE: American English Idioms #9

  1. Hello , hind from iraq ,
    -The hate is bad blood for people .
    -The employee is lazy in his job wherefore bark up award
    -the people did not listen to thief politician because he bats in person

  2. Hello,
    I am Albertine
    Very interesting to learn about American English Idioms. It’s not very easy to find out what they want to say, but if you listen carefully, you discover the meaning.
    Thank you

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