Last updated at 13:51 BST, Monday, 20 April 2009

Episode 190: Language Point

Tim at the cafe


look on the bright side
find the positive things in a situation and focus on them, rather than thinking about the negative things
Example: I know you're upset about splitting up with Jake but look on the bright side, at least you won't have to go to any more boring football matches with him on Saturdays!

every cloud's got a silver lining
even when something bad happens, there can be a positive result Example: He was really depressed when he was lost his job. But he ended up starting his own company and he's now a multi-millionaire! So maybe it's true what they say, every cloud's got a silver lining.

cross that bridge when we come to it
don't worry about possible future problems until they actually happen (because they might not even happen at all)
Example: You're right the boss might say no but why not ask her first? If she says no, well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

see the light at the end of the tunnel
notice signs that a situation which has been going on for a long time or has been difficult or bad is beginning to improve
Example: As the baby began sleeping through the night, she felt that at last she could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
eager, optimistic and happy
Example: I don't know where he gets all his energy from. Every time I see him, he's always so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It's great having him on the team because he's just so enthusiastic about everything.

happy as a sand boy / happy as Larry
very happy
Example: They bought their 3 year-old a really expensive toy but she was as happy as Larry playing with the wrapping paper. She hardly noticed the gift!


life's not a bed of roses
life is not easy or happy
Example:Life's not been a bed of roses for Sharon. She's been divorced twice, she's been ill most of her life and both her children died last year in a train accident.

a wet blanket
a person who says or does something that stops other people enjoying themselves
Example: Don't be such a wet blanket! They're only kids messing around. They're not going to ruin your precious garden.

the tip of the iceberg
a small part of a problem you can see which is much smaller than the total size of the problem
Example: Rising food prices are only the tip of the whole inflation iceberg. What about the cost of oil, the cost of transport and the fact that people's salaries haven't gone up recently?

go/be back to square one
have to think of a new way of doing something because the first way you did it wasn't successful
Example: I thought we were all organised for the wedding but then the photographer pulled out, the caterers went out of business so we're right back to square one.


you've got loads to do
you're busy
rub along
work together in an all right way (neither in a very good or very bad way)
rub each other up the wrong way
annoy someone (often without meaning to)
variety's the spice of life (saying)
said to emphasize that doing lots of different things, or changing what you do often, makes life interesting

Episode 190 links

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  3. Episode 190: Language Point