One of the ways to improve our English skills and vocabulary is to know, understand and try to use more idioms. Amy Gillett, the author of the book Speak English like an American mentioned that American English is full of idioms and we won’t learn these expressions from a standard textbook. She also mentioned that idioms add color to the language. This article compiles some idioms at work including the examples, meaning and the translation in Indonesian.
Idiom: costs an arm and a leg
Example: Everything in that shop costs an arm and a leg!
Meaning: very expensive
Translation in Indonesian: sangat mahal
Idiom: top dollar
Example: They charge top dollar.
Meaning: the highest end of price range; a lot of money
Translation in Indonesian: sangat/paling mahal
Idiom: give me the creeps!
Example: Their salespeople are very strange. They give me the creeps!
Meaning: to create a feeling of disgust or horror
Translation in Indonesian: membuat ngeri
Idiom: save the day
Example: Your marketing strategy will save the day!
Meaning: to prevent a disaster or misfortune
Translation in Indonesian: menghindari kegagalan atau kekurang mujuran
Idiom: real flop
Example: Your advertising campaign was a real flop!
Meaning: a failure
Translation in Indonesian: kegagalan
Idiom: go back to the drawing board
Example: Failures mean something if we use them as lessons to learn. Let’s go back to the drawing board!
Meaning: to start over because the last try failed; to start again from the beginning.
Translation in Indonesian: memulai lagi dari awal
Idiom: give an ax
Example: Please, don’t give me an ax!
Meaning: to fire someone
Translation in Indonesian: memecat
Idiom: put up with
Example: I can’t put up with her.
Meaning: to endure without complaint
Translation in Indonesian: bertahan dengan seseorang/sesuatu keadaan tanpa mengeluh
Idiom: dead-end job
Example: Good-bye to that dead-end job!
Meaning: a job that won’t lead to anything else
Translation in Indonesian: pekerjaan yang tidak menjanjikan
Idiom: go belly-up
Example: I am sorry to hear that he went belly-up.
Meaning: to go bankrupt
Translation in Indonesian: bangkrut
Gillett, Amy. 2004. Speak English Like An American. Michigan: Language Success Press.
Compiled and translated by Luh Windiari