Level 3 idioms – Unit 06


Judy: Hey Lana, you’ll never guess what I heard through the grapevine.

Lana: Tell me!

Judy: Do you want the long version, or should I tell it in a nutshell?

Lana: I want all the juicy details.

Judy: Well, Tina has been keeping everyone in the dark, including Tom.  It turns out she’s been cheating on him — with her fitness coach!

Lana: No way! Really?

Judy: Yes. When I heard the news, I called Tom on his cell phone and heard firsthand that he moved out last month.  He told me he had been feeling so good about everything, so Tina’s confession came from out of the blue.

Lana: Well now that the cat’s out of the bag, everyone’s going to have to take sides, you know.  Personally, I’m on her side.  First of all, she’s my oldest friend, and secondly, Tom is a really dull guy.  He never wanted to do the things she liked.  I guess it was only a matter of time before she wanted more out of life.  I can’t hold that against her.

Judy: You know, I just may ask him out.  Good husbands are hard to come by.


version:  the story according to someone
juicy:  fascinating, intriguing
confession:  admitting that she had a lover
personally:  what’s true for me
dull:  boring, unexciting


hear through the grapevine                 hear indirectly through other people
in a nutshell                                                   in a very few words
in the dark                                                      not knowing
cheat on (someone)                                  betray one’s spouse by making love to someone else
no way                                                               that’s not possible
hear firsthand (from)                               hear directly (from someone involved)
from out of the blue                                  without warning, unexpectedly
the cat is out of the bag                           something is no longer a secre
take (or choose) sides                               support one person or group in an argument or break-up
a matter of time                                            definitely going to happen in the future
hold that (or it) against (someone)   not forgive (someone)
hard to come by                                            difficult to get


From out of the blue can also be out of the blue.  Example:  Out of the blue he told her that he loved her.
The cat is out of the bag is similar to (someone) let the cat out of the bag, but the first one is a condition and the second is an action implying that the person who told the secret should not have done so.  Example:  Peter was wrong to let the cat out of the bag so soon.
Take sides and choose sides have the same meaning.
Hold that against (someone) and hold it against (someone) have the same meaning.

© 2004 Ambien Malecot

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© 2013 Ambien Malecot


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