Archive for October 31st, 2010

October 31, 2010

Cramping my style

Don't cramp my style, © Melanie Taylor |

I always liked this idiom.  It isn’t very frequently used anymore but is widely understood and but shows good command of the English  language.  If something cramps your style it means it limits or restricts you in some way, makes you hold back and not express yourself fully.  It is a casual expression but since it does not have bad connotations it can well be used in a business conversation.

Examples of usage are: “This new job at the bank is really cramping my style I have to wear a suit every day when I much prefer to wear shorts and sneakers.


“Those Monday morning 8 am meetings are really cramping my style.  I used to go out late every Sunday but now I can’t do that anymore.”

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October 31, 2010

Out of the woods

Out of the woods © Henrischmit |

Another nice American idiom that is useful in everyday life and easy to explain.   Literally if you are out of the woods (forest) – a dark and dangerous place – you are in safety.  Figuratively it means the same thing: to emerge from a difficult or dangerous situation.

An example would be: “Bob had major surgery after a bad car accident.  He was is a serious condition for a while but it looks like he is out of the woods now.”

The negative version “not out of the woods”  is used even more frequently.  One uses it to describe a situation where one can relax a bit but the danger is not completely over.  Example:  we have seen signs of improvement but the economy is not out of the woods yet.

The German equivalents are: “aus dem Groebsten heraus sein”, “aus dem Schneider sein”, ueber den Berg sein”

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