Archive for November 16th, 2010

November 16, 2010

Life in the fast lane

This is how life on the fast lane looks - literally, © Magnus Rørvik Skjølberg |

If you are living in the fast lane you are having fun, probably more than you should.

The fast lane of a freeway is were people drive fast and were consequently driving is more dangerous than over in the slower lanes.  The fast line – with fast cars – is where the rich and famous drive.  The idiom implies a fast paced, affluent life-style marked by fun, travel, and parties.

Example:  “Ever since Joe inherited that money from his old man he has been living life in the fast lane.”   This expression can be used in casual and business conversation.  It is also occasionally used ironically: “You replace your 1995 Toyota Camry with a 2001 Honda Civic?? You are sure living life on the fast lane.”

The Eagles had a song titled “Life in the fast lane” in the 70s.  The lyrics can be found here.

November 16, 2010

Don’t hold your breath

Don't hold your breath! (at least for too long), pic:

This is a very useful idiom that can be used in casual conversation.  One uses this to tell somebody that something is very unlikely to happen, although the person you are talking to believes the opposite. Here are a couple of examples:

Girlfriend 1:  “He said he would call me but so far he hasn’t.  I am sure he just got delayed in will call tomorrow.”

Girlfriend 2: Really?  I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Joe: “I have heard real estate prices are picking up again.”

Jane: “Don’t hold your breath!”

The roots of this idiom are pretty obvious, it is based on the literal meaning of hold your breath implying that you will run out of oxygen long before the outcome you hope for/expect materializes.