Accent Reduction: American Idioms part 29

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Accent Reduction: American Idioms part 29

Accent Reduction Tips

Many of our clients at Accent Pros, who come in for accent reduction sessions, have advanced degrees and have excellent command of the English language. Given the evolving state of the English language; however, they may not understand informal slang and phrases that are regularly used in the workplace, and on various popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally our clients will understand the meaning of an idiom, but use it in an improper context, which could potentially have embarrassing consequences. In our continuing efforts to  feature only the most relevant and practical terms when helping you on your goals, here are three idioms that have become standard shorthand in the workplace.

Accent Reduction Idiom 1: Tough/Bitter Pill to Swallow

Definition: Something that is hard or difficult to accept that must be accepted

Example: “I heard that Ted did all the work for the project and did a great job but the company changed ownership a couple of weeks ago and has decided to switch providers. Thus the revenue he had locked down for the company is gone. That’s got to be a bitter pill to swallow.”

Origin: The phrase was originally “a pill to swallow”, indicating the difficulty of swallowing a large pill. As the phrase evolved, adaptations to the phrase emerged. In the early 19th century the phrase appeared in print as, “a hard pill to swallow.”  The variation with bitter added on seems to have evolved later. accent reduction

Accent Reduction Idiom 2: Through the Roof

Definition: A price point or figure that is so large it goes beyond what is seen by many as an acceptable selling point. Also refers to an immense demand for a particular product or level of popularity.

Example: “We thought the demand for the new product might be a little high, but we were wrong. It’s  through the roof!”

Origin: Water used to come down through the roof. At some point the phrase was reversed meaning so high or successful that the sales and profit do not stay in the room, they burst through the roof and stretch to the sky, appearing to go on for infinity.

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Accent Reduction idiom 3: Brownie Points

Definition: Receiving credit for something done voluntarily that is helpful, nice, or generous, perhaps in hopes of a return gesture at a later point

Example: “Jake stopped to help a car. He called and he’ll be here shortly. I guess an older woman’s car broke down by the side of the road and he’s helping her get it towed and waiting with her until they get there. He’s certainly earned his brownie points.”

Origin: The American group for girls, The Girl Scouts, work to earn accomplishment badges through acquiring “Brownie Points” Brownie points are earned by doing good things or helpful tasks. The term gradually entered the general lexicon as a way of describing an obvious attempt at doing something nice for someone in the hopes the person will reciprocate. accent reduction

Accent reduction: Idioms Series

Accent Pros has a continuing series on accent reduction tips, including common English phrases and American idioms. Be sure to check out other accent reduction blog posts to find your favorites. Ready for a complimentary accent reduction tutorial or a free accent screening?  Check out our on-line accent reduction courses  available to students with accent reduction goals all over the world. For consistent access to our idioms series and other Accent reduction tips, Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

2017-03-23T06:47:08-05:00By |