IRL

ESL Speakers Reveal The Most Confusing English Sayings They Learned

Could you repeat that.... slowly.

Words can be confusing. And words strung together in a madness for syntax can be downright mind boggling. The English language can especially be daunting for those who are from another culture.

Redditor u/Comnena wanted those who still can't reckon some english by asking.... Redditors who speak English as a second language, what English saying did you find most amusing/bizarre when you learned it?


Boobs.

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"Calm your t**s" dspolleke

'Rest your breast' sounds way better. Natuurschoonheid

You Got to Have Friends! 

"I like you as a friend." _hein_

So correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't English kind of unusual in that we don't have words that distinguish between different forms of love?

For example, the love you have for your parents is not the same as the love you have for a romantic partner, your kids, or a friend. I've heard anecdotally that other languages have different words for these, but can't say for sure. CruzaSenpai

What about Bob?

"Bob's your uncle." feofox

Usually blamed on Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Earl of Salisbury and also Prime Minister from 1900 to 1902. He was succeeded in the latter job by his nephew, Arthur Balfour. It was widely assumed that he got the job through nepotism, without having to put in the work, and so "Bob's your uncle" became a way of saying something was easy. BillybobThistleton

Take What?!

Met an American that couldn't grasp the UK term "you're taking the piss." He kept saying to me "can I take your piss?" or "you're taking my piss." Cheesepunsaregrate

Good Luck!

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"Break a leg!" think_of_me_fondly

I like Chicken....

Cold turkey. Someone asked my how I quit smoking cigarettes and I told them I ate a lot of cold turkey because that is what I thought how you quit. Yea they laughed at me. fern6454

It means to simply stop taking the drug all at once, as opposed to lowering your intake over time. Just one day you stop using it and never touch it again.

I have no idea what cold turkeys have to do with this, but that's what the phrase means. SolDarkHunter

Damn "Words"

How most English words doesn't pronounce same way as the word seems. GoofybreeX3

That's definitely true. Although, you can usually figure it out through thorough thought though. ShmexysmGuy

Hey Sweetie.... 

When you call someone "pumpkin" as a sweet thing. Really? That's your idea of sweet - a vegetable? Londoil

Get a Hammer! 

"Nailed it!" pleaseaccusrname

Always heard this one as a shortened version of 'you hit the nail on the head." AnusEinstein

Singing in the Rain....

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"It's raining cats and dogs." IneryExe

In Victorian England, London had thousands of stray cats and dogs. When the animals knew they were going to die, they would find a quiet, comfortable, and out of the way place to spend their final moments.

When it would rain very hard, the dead animals would get washed out of their hiding places into the streets. "Raining cats and dogs" refers to the bodies of dead animals polluting the avenues of London and getting caught in flash floods. NBCMarketingTeam

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Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.

Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.

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