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English Idioms: Food

Word of the Day

acquaintance  (n)


[count] : someone who is known but who is not a close friend • Is he an acquaintance of yours? [=have you met him?] • She ran into an old acquaintance at the grocery store. • My wife and I met through a mutual acquaintance. [=a friend introduced us to each other] • a casual acquaintance

[noncountformal : the state of knowing someone in a personal or social way : the state of knowing someone as an acquaintance • our family’s close acquaintance with our neighbors • It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. [=(less formally) it’s nice to meet you.] • She struck up an acquaintance with a man from the city. • a doctor of my acquaintance [=a doctor that I know] • He seemed cold at first, but on closer/further acquaintance I realized that he was just shy.

 : knowledge about something — followed by with [singular] • She has only a nodding/slight/superficial acquaintance with the facts of the case. [=she knows only a little about the facts of the case] • He has more than a passing acquaintance with wine. [=he knows a lot about wine] [noncount] • While he has some acquaintance with the subject, he is not an expert.

Idiom: Raining Cats and dogs

We are enjoying fine weather in our beautiful city of Toronto this spring.  However, we have been experiencing quite a bit of rain recently.  Below is a weather idiom referring to rain.

It is used to express the idea of heavy rain.

Example sentence: “Do not forget your umbrella before you go outside. It is raining cats and dogs!”

Casual and Informal Greetings

In Canada, friends usually greet each other with less formal language.  Below are some ways we greet our family, friends and even colleagues using friendly and casual phrases.

Casual, Informal and Slang Greetings

  • “Hey.”
  • “Hey. What’s up?”
  • “How’s it goin’?”
  • “Whatsup?”
  • “Hey, man.”
  • “Hey, you.”
  • “Hi there.”


Sample Informal Conversation

  • “Hey man. How’s it going?”
  • “Pretty good. How ’bout you?”
  • “Not bad, not bad. Can’t complain.”
  • “Cool. I gotta run, but I’ll catchya later.”
  • “It was good bumping into you.”

How to Introduce Yourself in English

Canadians tend to be more casual than countries with older cultures. This means that Canadians will most likely not kiss or hug a person they are meeting for the first time or even after.

Party or Work = more formal

If you are going to meet a Canadian for the first time at a party or in a work setting, it’s customary to shake that person’s hand. Be sure to smile and make eye contact  when you say hello. Eye contact is essential!

Here is some sample language for politely greeting new people.

Introduce Yourself

  • “Hi. I’m Justin. Nice to meet you.”

Sometimes, when shaking hand, you need only to say your name, without the introducing language:

  • “Hi, Samuel. Justin. Nice to meet you.”

In this case, you need to change your tone to distinguish his or her name from yours. Your name will be said a little lower in tone.

Here are some other ways to introduce yourself in English:

  • “Hi. My name is Matthew. It’s good to be here.”
  • “I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Matthew.”
  • “I’m Matthew. And you are…?”
  • “My name is Matthew. What’s your name?”
The questions that come after an introduction must include the appropriate rising intonation. This rising intonation in English (your voice pitch gets higher) indicates that you are asking a question, and it will add a tone of friendliness to your speech.
Introductions are also essential in introducing one person to another. Not introducing another would be considered rude and may make the people you are with uncomfortable.


Here are some ways to introduce another in English:

  • “Hi David. This is my daughter, Ariana.”
  • “David, I’d like to introduce you to my daughter, Ariana.”
  • “David, have you met my daughter, Ariana, yet?”
  • “Ariana, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, David.”


Asking the person’s name

Be sure to ask a question with a rising intonation:

  • “Hi. I’m Justin. And you are….?”
  • “Hi. I’m Justin. What’s your name?”

English Idioms: Animals

English speakers like to use idioms to make their language more colorful.
Here are some common animal idioms. Try using these idioms in your own conversations and have fun with them.

Word of the Day

frisk /ˈfrɪsk/ verb [with object]

to pass your hands over (someone) to search for something that may be hidden in clothing

• All visitors to the prison are frisked (for weapons) before they’re allowed to enter.

Word of the Day

tres·pass /ˈtrɛˌspæs, Brit ˈtrɛspəs/ verb
tres·pass·es; tres·passed; tres·pass·ing

[no obj] 1 : to go on someone’s land without permission
▪ He told me I was trespassing. ▪ The sign said “No Trespassing.” — often + on ▪ The hunters trespassed on the farmer’s land.

2 old-fashioned : to do something that hurts or offends someone — usually + against ▪ We must try to forgive those who trespass against us.

3 formal : to treat someone unfairly especially by asking for or expecting more than is fair or reasonable — often + on or upon ▪ I hope I am not trespassing on/upon your time. [=I hope I am not using too much of your time]

2. tres·pass /ˈtrɛspəs/ noun
plural tres·pass·es
1 law : the crime of going on someone’s land without permission [noncount] ▪ He was arrested for trespass. [count] ▪ They committed a trespass.
2 [count] old-fashioned : a sin or other wrong or improper act
▪ Forgive us our trespasses.

Word of the Day

scan·dal /ˈskændl̟/ noun
plural scan·dals

1 : an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong [count] ▪ There was a major scandal involving the mayor’s ties with the Mob. ▪ Government officials were caught in an embezzlement scandal. ▪ Her behavior caused a scandal at school. ▪ a drug/sex scandal [noncount] ▪ His actions brought scandal on the team. [=his actions disgraced the team] ▪ There was never a hint/trace of scandal during her time in office.

2 [noncount] : talk about the shocking or immoral things that people have done or are believed to have done
▪ The gossip magazine is filled with rumors and scandal.

3 [singular] : something that is shocking, upsetting, or unacceptable
▪ The high price of gas these days is a scandal. ▪ It’s a scandal that this city doesn’t have a movie theater.