BOILING POINT, BOMB, and BONE OF CONTENTION: American English Idioms #23

Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 23. 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.

BOILING POINT — the point at which one loses one’s temper

1. You’ve just about pushed me to the boiling point. In a minute I’m going to lose my temper.

2. Don’t push the boss too hard about taking time off work. She hasn’t had much patience this week and it wouldn’t take much to reach her boiling point.

Compare to: make (one’s) blood boil

The expression suggests heated water whose surface erupts with bubbles when it reaches a particular temperature.

BOMB — to fail completely

1. The playwright’s new play closed on the first night. It bombed.

2. They thought they had hired an exciting speaker but instead he really bombed.

Compare to: lay an egg Whereas bomb is usually applied to creative activities (e.g., a play, a book, a movie, an idea) that fail on a grand scale, lay an egg is usually applied to doing something that is socially embarrassing on a smaller scale.

BONE OF CONTENTION, A — a topic of dispute

1. The subject of politics is a bone of contention between Sandra and me—we never seem to agree.

2. John wants to send the children to a private school, and I think it’s unnecessary. It’s a bone of contention between us.

Compare to: bone to pick, a

The expression suggests a bone thrown between two dogs that would naturally fight over it.

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