The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

Idiomatic expressions

According to, an idiom is “an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements”. Simply put, an idiom is a word or group of words that express a meaning different from their usual meaning.

We hear idioms and idiomatic expressions used and use them ourselves every day. Sometimes they are used appropriately and other times, not, but I won’t go there because that’s not what this post is about. It is about some idiomatic expressions which are often used to describe me and how I feel about them.

Some people describe me as one who ‘doesn’t suffer fools gladly.’ – This means that I refuse to tolerate stupidity or have little or no patience for people I consider stupid or have silly ideas. Hmm! When you put it like that, I sound really arrogant and impatient. It makes me seem like some stuck-up know-it-all who can’t be bothered with anyone whose IQ is not on par with mine.

I have mixed feelings about this description because even though it does convey something about me, it’s not the complete picture. Admittedly I do get a bit put off when people get a bit silly but it’s not because I think they are stupid but rather because I feel they could do better. Besides I don’t think I’m as bad as the above suggests. I bet some people who know me might beg to differ.

The fact that this expression originates from the Bible (II Corinthians 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise) gives me some comfort but not much.

Another one is I ‘tell it like it is’. This is an informal way of saying one is forthright, outspoken and not reticent about speaking one’s mind. The rather unfortunate thing is that it is sometimes difficult to be forthright without causing offence.

Some words, by their very nature, sound and appear negative. ‘Outspoken’ is one of those words. It means ‘to express with frankness, without reserve’. I am outspoken but it is never my intention to offend; that is just sometimes inadvertent.  I also generally reserve my candour for friends and family who trust that I’m not being malicious.

We each have our own way of describing and categorising others. This helps us in our every day dealings and relationships, unfortunately our descriptions are sometimes inaccurate and incomplete.

Both of these idiomatic expressions describe me but they don’t paint the whole picture. There is so much more to me than just them. I have to come to appreciate the fact that they may be all some people will ever know about me but it’s their loss if they don’t take the time to find out the rest of the stuff I’m made of.

Tara for now.


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