We believe that the occasional use of the unexpected and the surprising in your presentation is a terrific way to strengthen your connection with your audience. Unraveling the original meaning of idioms, expressions and the slang phrases we use every day can be both revealing, funny and unexpected. This is why we use idioms in our presentations and encourage you to do the same.

Many of the original meanings of idioms are lost to time and their use today has evolved into something very different. For example, when recounting a situation, use an idiom. Take the expression, “dead as a doornail”. To the uninitiated a nail is clearly dead, devoid of life, but why is a doornail considered to be more dead? It is because doornails, those big studs used to build heavy doors in the 16th century, were pounded in and then the tips were bent over. Thus they were truly dead and could never be used again. Who would guess this original meaning and when revealed it makes you think.

Can you guess the meaning of these common idioms?


Fedora as example of the idiom, 'mad as a hatter'.If you say that someone is as “mad as a hatter,” what are you really implying?







CU of cat with mouth open as example of the idiom, 'cat got your tongue'.If you ask if the “cat’s got your tongue”, are you referring to the  original meaning of this expression?  (You’ll never guess what it was!)






And how about “bury the hatchet”. And odd idea today, but originally it literally meant to dig a hole and put a hatchet in it. But to whom and why?

Hatchet among wood as example of the idiom, 'bury the hatchet'.


Unexpected Twists and Turns

So enjoy with us as we explore the unexpected twists and turns of our relationship with language, expressions, and our human history. Please feel free to use our ideas in any way that strengthens your own presentation.