Idioms

My fascination with idioms dates back to the time when I was learning German at school. The language itself was interesting enough—it had four cases, relatively difficult grammar with n-declination, many prepositions, sentences ending with verbs and words with palettes of meanings. It is incredibly rich and flexible language that I highly recommend. Once you start, you have to stick to it for years to come, and even then, you are likely to be using a small fraction of its full power. The moment you tell yourself that you are satisfied with how much you know, you aren’t going to progress any further. You need to actively seek out materials that deepen your understanding of the various use cases. A language can be useful only up to a point, but then you need to find a way to complement it with at least one practical skill.

German has also one of the richest varieties of idioms I ever came across. These can be everything from funny and surprising to rude. Used correctly by a good speaker, they can make everyone in a room laughing; overused, they can quickly become boring and unpleasant. Idioms have arisen in everyday situations, so they are like a documentary of human nature, which partially explains why they are so interesting to study. Most of the time they are attached to people or objects to describe their behavior. From a cultural perspective, I think that some idioms may overlap in their meaning across multiple languages, but at the same time there are many uniques that rely on rhyme that is language-specific.

I remember that I kept a small, almost secret, dedicated notebook with all interesting new idioms that I could collect. At that time I must have been quite thirsty for Stoff when the rocker cover didn’t bother me. The word dummerAugust itself came from the fact that the first bigger book that I read on my school vacation that wasn’t an assignment (“It” by Stephen King) had a hero that made a big impression on me. It turned out to be a coincidence that I already knew the idiom that could be used to describe it. Some people think that I must hate August for some reason, but indeed it is one of the many great months in the year. Since I have rediscovered my notebook within my pile of collected materials, and looking inside made me smile again, I thought that it may be a good idea to make this content searchable online. Again, it is very incomplete, has carefully selected content and resembles a particular life point with all of its heights and limitations. If you want to learn more idioms, feel free to discover them at your own pace by buying a good dictionary. You may then find that you want to start your own notebook. Meanwhile, I hope that you’ll like the result.

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