kick the bucket
- Have you heard? The old man down the street has kicked the bucket.
- All the fish in my aquarium kicked the bucket when we went on a vacation.
- The old dog finally kicked the bucket when the winter got too harsh for him.
- I have decided to donate my organs when I kick the bucket.
- The old lady had lead a solitary life, but when she kicked the bucket, the whole neighbourhood came to her funeral.
The phrase first appeared in print in the “Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” in 1785. Its origin is unclear, though there are several theories. One common theory is of hanging, when a person standing on a bucket with a noose over the head kicks the bucket and hence, dies. There is no evidence to support this claim, and it appears rather implausible. Another, more plausible, theory refers to the archaic meaning of the word bucket, which used to mean beam in 16th century England. A bucket, or beam, was used to hang animals by the feet for slaughter, and they would kick it while dying. A third theory refers to the Catholic practice of placing the holy water bucket at the feet of a person who has died, so that visitors could sprinkle the holy water on the body.
keep an eye on
- keep a watch on something or someone closely
- monitor something or someone
- mind, give attention to
- watch carefully, supervise
- Keep an eye on the students. We don’t want them to cheat during the exams.
- Keep an eye on the road or we might miss the turn we need to take.
- She asked her friend to keep an eye on her house while she was away.
- The woman kept an eye on the children as they played on the beach.
- He had put on a lot of weight lately, so he started keeping an eye on what he ate.
- Keep an eye on the speed. You might crash if you drive too fast.
- As he was not interested in historical places, he kept an eye on the luggage as his friends visited the monuments.
- While she was enjoying the conversation, she kept an eye on the watch so that she would not be late for her meeting.
The origin of the phrase is not known.
kill two birds with one stone
- accomplish two different things at the same time
- solve two problems with one single action
- achieve two things with a single action
- achieve two ends with a single effort
- I have to go to the bank, and on the way back, I’ll pick up the groceries also, killing two birds with one stone.
- He had gone to Mumbai on a business trip, while there, he killed two birds with one stone and visited his relatives also.
- Cycling to work kills two birds with one stone. It saves money and gives you some exercise.
- I read the newspaper while sipping my morning cup of tea, killing two birds with one stone.
- When I went for the interview, I caught up with a few old colleagues who now work there, killing two birds with one stone.
- He dropped his kids to school while going to work, killing two birds with one stone.
This phrase originated in the 1600s.
keep your chin up
- be stalwart and courageous in a tough situation
- remain brave and keep on trying
- a confident appearance under emotional stress
- to uphold a jolly temperament instead of disappointments
- Don’t let the difficulties intimidate you; keep your chin up.
- Even if things have been difficult for you, always keep your chin up, everything will be normal and alright soon.
- Hey, Bob keep your chin up, we’re not lost yet.
- Being a wife of a soldier she kept her chin up when she heard the enemy attack on military camp, where here husband was staying.
- My mom always taught me to keep my chin up in every situation if I want to win.
- Keep you chin up, we shall conquer this difficult time.
- Annabel is very hardworking lady, she faced many seriously bad circumstances in her life, but she had always kept her chin up and now she is a successful and rich lady living happily with her family.
This idiom is originated in Victorian era, from late 19th to early 20th century in America not in Britain and it has a close relationship with the expression “keep a stiff upper lip”.
The very first written reference appears from an October, 1900 publication of the Pennsylvania newspaper The Evening Democrat: “Keep your chin up. Don’t take your troubles to bed with you – hang them on a chair with your trousers or drop them in a glass of water with your teeth.”
keep own counsel
Meaning: say little or nothing about one’s opinions or intentions.
Example: Our boss is notorious for keeping his own counsel; you never know what he has in his mind.
keep fingers crossed
Meaning: hope that things will happen in the way you want them to.
Example: I’m keep my fingers crossed that my husband clears the written interview this Monday to join British Intelligence Bureau.
keep card close to chest
Meaning: be secretive or cautious, give nothing away.
Example: My brother don’t know how much money his friends will spend this Friday night, he keep his card close to his chest.
know on which side bread is buttered
Meaning: know what is to one’s advantage.
Example: She’s far too clever to irritate her employer as she knows which side her bread is buttered on.
hand or keep at bay
Meaning: prevent something or somebody unpleasant from coming too near to one or harming one.
Example: The area was hit by a serious epidemic, but luckily he could keep himself at bay.
keep at arm’s length
- keep distance from something or somebody
- avoid intimacy or familiarity
- avoid being connected with someone or something
- not let someone be too friendly
- keep a degree of remoteness, either physical or social
- I like to keep my office colleagues at arm’s length outside of office. I don’t want them in my personal life.
- He always had the feeling that she was keeping him at arm’s length.
- Though they are business partners, they don’t get along well together and keep each other at arm’s length.
- He looks to be a fishy person. I would keep him at arm’s length if I were you.
- He did not have a very cordial relationship with his family and kept them at arm’s length.
- We proposed the idea to the management, but they are keeping it at arm’s length for now.
- In order to maintain a professional relationship with his clients, he preferred to keep them at arm’s length when outside of business dealings.
- She said she would like to keep him at arm’s length until she got to know him better.
- They try to keep at arm’s length of each other after having had a huge argument sometime back.
The phrase first originated as “at arm’s length”, but later gradually changed to its current form with “keep” around the mid 1600s.