Each month, Let’s Talk will focus on sayings that might sound funny or confusing to a new language learner. So if you have ever thought “What did they mean by that?” or “What are they trying to say?” this column is for you.

This has been a soggy spring with a lot of rain and clouds. On the plus side, there have been and will be many celebrations. In May, mothers were honored for all of their hard work and in June, fathers and graduates will also be celebrated.

So here are four idioms – expressions in which the meanings of the words are not the meaning of the sayings.
Mother Hen – Someone who looks out for the welfare of others in an overly protective manner.
Ana could be a real mother hen when she organized the afterschool programs for the neighborhood kids.

Not Your Father’s – Very modern or updated
Ahmed’s new car was keyless and had a back-up camera; this was definitely not his father’s car anymore.

To Hit the Books – Need to start studying
Yasmeen needs to hit the books because final exams are starting, and she needs to do well in order to graduate.

Pass with Flying Colors – To achieve a high score on something
Aar studied very hard for his final exams and he passed with flying colors.

If you have questions about sayings you have heard Americans use that you don’t understand, or questions about American culture, please email your questions to Claudia at [email protected] and “Let’s Talk” will be happy to help.

Claudia Jakubowski has her Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).