Don’t hold your breath

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

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.

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