OK! So, today I am going to teach you 8 daily use smart English phrases. And when you use the right phrase at the right time very casually, you will surely sound like a smart and fluent English speaker
In this article we will learn 8 daily use smart English phrases, their meanings, their origin, some example sentences and alternate words or phrases to use instead – as synonyms.
And now, Let’s begin with the 8 daily use smart English phrases to radically improve your vocabulary in about 10 minutes
1. My Way or the Highway
This is a tough expression
this phrase is like an ultimatum, which means you have to listen to me – like “take it or leave it” . It means – if you do not do things the way I want or my way, then you can just leave or not participate (song)
A boss who insists that a job must be executed in a certain manner might say ‘ Buddy! you need to do this job the way I asked you to, it’s ‘my way or the highway’.
The employee knows that this means either do the job in the manner that the boss expects him to, or quit.
The phrase literally tells the listener that if they don’t wish to follow the speaker’s demands they will have to leave, specifically, go take the highway out of town, otherwise, if they choose to stay, they will be required to follow the speaker’s demands.
I loved my boyfriend a lot of but I was sick of it always being ‘his way or the highway’.
If your teacher or parent or someone at work is a tough task master and does not bend the rules, you can say ‘It is tough to work with James, since he has a “my way or the highway” approach.
You can use instead are ‘take it or leave it’ or ‘end of story’
2. Cloud Nine
In a state of bliss or happiness
He was on cloud nine for days after she agreed to marry him.
One possible explanation was that US Weather Bureau in the 1950s, used the term ‘Cloud Nine’ to denote a fluffy cumulonimbus type of cloud that was very attractive.
When she finally got chosen for that job, he was on cloud 9
The entire team was on cloud nine after winning the championship
He was on cloud nine when he heard the good news
You can tell your friends that after I watch ChetChat videos, I am on cloud 9
you can use – seventh heaven, head in the clouds, on top of the moon
3. Tongue in Cheek
To be tongue-in-cheek is to say something jokingly while appearing to be serious
The latest movie I watched was a tongue in cheek look at the way the media tends to over-hype certain pieces of news.
This phrase is a literal reference to the facial expression created when putting the tongue in one’s cheek. It also includes a wink, to signify that what is being said is not to be taken seriously. It is also believed that people may have stuck their tongue in their cheek to keep from smiling or laughing.
A tongue-in-cheek comment or observation begins seriously but ends humorously. However, behind the playfulness is truth. So, tongue-in-cheek comments often get people thinking.
During the comedy roast, several comics made tongue-in-cheek remarks about the celebrated actor.
Here’s a scenario where you can use the phrase ‘tongue in cheek’
Two friends are talking …
Friend 1 : How’s the new job doing buddy
Friend 2: This new company work ethic is great. I love working 7 days a week for no extra pay. It really builds character. And what a great experience to put on a resume.
Friend 1: Sounds tongue-in-cheek.
Friend 2: Of course I am not serious. This heavy work load is terrible.
you can use to describe tongue in cheek are ‘cheeky’ or ‘playful’
4. Mover and Shaker
A mover and shaker is an influential person who makes things happen. A powerful person who initiates events and influences people.
He was a mover and shaker in the world of politics. He accomplished a lot in his 30-year career.
someone who is willing to make big changes to get things done: example – The new director of the company is a real mover and shaker.
The conference is going to be full of movers and shakers of the industry, so I want to make a good impression.
The expression ‘movers and shakers’ is now most often applied to the rich and powerful in politics and business.
She thinks her father can get her admission to law school, after all he is quite a mover and shaker in society.
you can use include ‘big gun’ or ‘prominent’
5. Face the Music
To face the music means to accept responsibility for something that you have done wrong and to prepare yourself to be criticized or punished for it
Let’s say you have done something wrong and are afraid of getting caught, then you could say to your friend – Sooner or later, I’m going to have to face the music.
Centuries ago if an army officer did a disgraceful act, they were removed from service and were literally ‘drummed out’ to the sound of drum beats. Hence, this term is about facing the consequences of your action
If she lied to me, then she’ll just have to face the music
Someday you’re going to have to face the music for your actions.
The boy was caught cheating in an examination and had to face the music.
if someone you know has committed an atrocious act – you could say to them – You’ve been caught cheating now you must face the music.
you can use instead are face the facts, face up to it, or bite the bullet
6. Dime a Dozen
refers to something very plentiful, common, and therefore, inexpensive.
plastic toys like this one are a dime a dozen or you get dime a dozen plastic toys like this
A dime is a unit of U.S. currency that is one tenth of a dollar, or ten cents. During the 1800s, this phrase was used in its literal meaning, like you would get a dozen eggs for a dime. Since the early 1900s, as the value of the dime became significantly lower, the phrase has been used in its figurative sense, meaning something common and of less value.
Writers like him are dime a dozen – this means that his writing skills are very commonly found and of no significant value
These glass cups might look expensive, but they are a dime a dozen over at the general store.
Websites on health and fitness are a dime a dozen nowadays, but not all of them are accurate and have correct information.
Coaching classes are a dime a dozen, but most of them are of low quality and do not deliver on their promise. The really good ones are far fewer.
Next time you attend a family reunion you can say – Everyone was so happy to see each other that hugs were a dime a dozen all through dinner.
you can use is commonplace
7. Goody Two Shoes
A goody-goody or goody two shoes is a person who always acts good, sweet, or nice, and follows the rules perfectly. They never do anything bad or rebellious.
These words are NOT compliments – they have the connotation of a person who always acts good and is a little bit arrogant about it, showing off their perfect behavior.
“Mary was a goody two shoes in high school, but when she went to college she turned into a real rebel.”
In the 1700’s a famous children’s book called ‘The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes’ popularized the phrase “goody two-shoes” as a descriptor for an excessively virtuous person or do-gooder. Somewhat like Cindrella.
She is a Ms Goody two shoes, she sits on the front bench in class, waves her hand to answer every question and tattle tales on kids on the playground.
So if you have a friend who never goes to any parties or stays out past curfew and reminds you that she or he is so perfect, you can call her / or him Goody Two shoes.
you can use are ‘prudish’ and ‘stuffy’
8. Hard Nut to Crack / Tough Nut to Crack
A person, thing, situation, or problem that is particularly difficult to understand, crack or deal with.
I’ve been dating Jenny for over a year, and I still think she’s a hard nut to crack!
This phrase has been derived literally from some hard / tough nuts that are very difficult to crack open.
The spy we captured is a hard nut; he hasn’t said a thing since we began the interrogation.
It won’t be easy getting her approval; she’s a tough nut to crack.
We’ve had a lot of success with our retail stores but we’re finding that selling our product online is a hard nut to crack.
If you have a friend who is difficult to figure out, you could say – Jenny is a hard nut to crack. One day she’s friendly and the next she’s super quiet, so I’m not sure if she likes me.
you can use are ‘tough cookie’ or ‘pandora’s box’