Related posts

We love idioms in the United States. These are common expressions used, but often newcomers don’t understand what they mean. So, let’s look at some idioms that we use daily in our busy and not even, so busy lives.


What is "coach potato?"

Somebody- who sits on their sofa or couch- watches television all day. And a sentence might be “He is such a couch potato. “ And everybody understands this is not an active person. It’s kind of fun to say, don’t you think?


The next one is” Keep up with the Joneses” or “Keeping up with the Joneses”.

The name Jones is the last name, and it is a very popular last name in America. And,” keeping up with the Joneses” means, “if your neighbor buys a new car, you buy a new car. If your neighbor buys a new snow blower, you buy a new snow blower”.

And so, this became kind of a popular saying, I suspect in the 1950’s as people were moving into the suburbs. And so, it is a little sarcastic, a little –not so nice.“

Oh look at Joe, he just bought a new car. He’s just trying to keep up with the Joneses”. So you see it is not a really positive statement. It’s kind of a little negative. Still used and still popular today.


The rat race, again an expression probably used in the 1940’s, 1950’s to describe business as very fast going.

And so, if you are in a rat race, you are always moving. And so we might say something like, “OH dear, (I’m using Joe again), Joe’s so busy; his office life is so busy. His life is like a “rat race”.
Always busy, always moving, but really a little too much. It’s a little negative, as well.


“In a rut” means your life is boring. The phrase comes from rutters –like in a track. Like you are on a train, always on that track or in a rut- your life is boring.

“Gee, I want to change something in my life because I feel like I’m in a rut.” It is disappointing. It’s not such a positive expression.


Americans always seem to be busy. They always seem to be doing something, and so the common expression or idiom is “Boy, she is always on the run.” It means always busy doing things.
I hope these idiom expressions have helped you, today. And I hope you will understand when people are sharing this kind of information.