A noteworthy review of Understanding Idioms from Booklist on April 1, 2023
English can be difficult to learn, but this volume in the Understanding Idioms series (12 titles) can also be a reader’s ‘ace in the hole.’ From ‘blow off steam’ to ‘get your goat’ to ‘push the envelope,’ it introduces 24 varied idiomatic expressions in alphabetical order. Each entry features a short anecdote with dialogue that uses the idiom in context, its actual meaning, and its possible origin. For instance, many people in the early 1800s used imperfect, handmade tools that could get out of control, as when a loose ax-head would ‘fly off the handle.’ Related words in bold are defined in a concluding glossary, while lively cartoon illustrations of the literal interpretations offer ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humor. Completing suggested extension activities may even earn some students ‘brownie points.’ An entertaining complement to language study.