Most misunderstood American idioms

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American idioms are often misunderstood by non-native English speakers due to their figurative meanings that can be quite different from their literal interpretations. Here are some of the most misunderstood American idioms:
  1. "Spill the beans": This phrase has nothing to do with actual beans. It means to reveal a secret or disclose confidential information.
  2. "Piece of cake": This idiom doesn't involve any baked goods. It's used to describe a task or situation that is easy or simple.
  3. "Cold turkey": This phrase doesn't refer to a chilled poultry dish. It means to abruptly stop an addictive behavior or substance.
  4. "Table an item": This phrase doesn't involve any furniture. It means to postpone discussion or consideration of a topic or proposal.
  5. "Break a leg": This is a superstitious phrase used in the theater to wish someone good luck without actually saying the words "good luck".
  6. "Put up your dukes": This phrase doesn't involve any royalty. It means to prepare for a fight, usually by raising your fists.
  7. "Throw under a bus": This phrase doesn't involve any vehicles. It means to betray someone for personal gain.
  8. "Cold feet": This phrase doesn't refer to a physical condition. It means to feel nervous or anxious before a big event, often to the point of wanting to withdraw.
  9. "Over the moon": This phrase doesn't involve any space travel. It means to be extremely happy or excited.
  10. "Devil's advocate": This phrase doesn't involve any religious figures. It means to argue against a popular opinion to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing argument.
  11. "Bucket list": This phrase doesn't involve any containers. It refers to a list of things that one wants to do before they die.
  12. "No pain, no gain": This phrase doesn't necessarily involve physical pain. It means that success requires hard work and sacrifices.
  13. "Rule of thumb": This phrase doesn't involve any body parts. It refers to a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.
  14. "Don't judge a book by its cover": This phrase doesn't involve any reading materials. It means not to judge something or someone based solely on appearance.
These idioms can be confusing for non-native speakers because they often have historical or cultural origins that may not be immediately apparent. Understanding these idioms requires familiarity with American English and culture.
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