There are times when emotions overwhelm, but to describe the events just do not have words. In the native language, we often use phrases such as sustainable «torn stomach from laughing,» «die laughing», «explode with anger», «be ready to sink into the ground,» and so on. P. English is no less emotional. To be able to describe as clearly as possible how people react to what is happening, we propose to consider such idiomatic expressions as an example of small situations that have occurred in the same family, when all were:
- Surprised (Surprised):
… We all got the shock of our lives last Christmas. We were sitting round the fire, forcing third helpings of Christmas cake into our mouths, when the doorbell rang. It made everybody jump. Auntie Jane nearly jumped out of her skin. I was pretty startled myself, I must admit. Anyway, there at the door — believe it or not — was Uncle Mac, with an armful of presents (It was the first time in living memory that he had ever given anything to anybody). Everyone caught their breath when they saw him. No-one could really believe their eyes. Poor Aunt Flossie actually fainted, and Uncle Bill kept blinking, as if he had seen a ghost. And Granny, who had been talking non-stop since breakfast, was absolutely speechless. I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head. I reckon you could have knocked all of us over with a feather.
Consider the selected idioms:
To get the shock of one’s life. Being deeply shocked; to be shocked. To make smb. jump. Startled, jump (surprise, fear). To jump out of one’s skin. Jump, jump (from fright or surprise). To be startled. Be amazed, astonished. Believe it or not. Believe it or not. It was the first time in living memory. First time in my life. To catch one’s breath. Hold a breath. No-one could really believe their eyes. Nobody could believe it. To faint. Get swoon. To blink, as if you have seen a ghost. With such a person as if he saw cast (literally: blinking, as if he saw cast). To be speechless. Be silent, numb (surprise, anger). Eyes were going to pop out of one’s head. The eyes on the forehead climbed. You could have knocked me down with a feather. I was shocked, stunned, bewildered; I was taken aback.
- Worried (Emotional):
… I looked across and saw that tears were already trickling down Mum’s cheeks. I must confess a lump had come to my throat. When the priest started speaking, Julia burst out crying, and that was the signal for Mum to break down; she was completely overcome. By this time tears were rolling down several faces — including Dad’s — and I had a horrible feeling that I was going to burst into tears. The priest’s few words were very touching; I think he was almost moved to tears himself. I’m not surprised. They made such a lovely couple and Maggie looked great in white.
Tears are trickling down one’s cheeks. Tears streaming down her cheeks. A lump came (had come) to my throat. Lump in the throat. To burst out crying. Burst into tears, crying. To break down. Do not stand to lose self-control. To be overcome. To be covered by the (feelings). Tears are rolling down. Tears roll. To burst into tears. Burst into tears, burst into tears. Touching. Touching. To be moved to tears. Moved to tears.
- Evil (Angry):
… I think it was Dad’s side of the family that started it, when Uncle Mac started calling Uncle Bill names. Auntie Jane took offence immediately and then Granny joined it. She made Aunt Flossie lose her temper and soon after that Dad blew his top. That led to Mum going berserk — I’ve never seen her so livid. It was not long before Maggie, for some reason, started insulting Uncle Tom and then it was his turn to see red; he really went mad — «furious» is not the word for it. It was about then that Grandad, who had obviously been seething for some time, hit the roof. Things quietened down a bit after that and Granny dealt the next hand of cards.
To call smb names. Call. To take offence. To take offense. To lose one’s temper. Losing his composure. To blow one’s top. Explode (anger), come out of himself. To go berserk. To come into a frenzy to come into a rage. Livid. Angry, enraged, furious. To insult smb. Offending. To see red. To come into a rage, bristle; be blinded by rage. To go mad. Run amok. Furious. Enraged, frenetic, furious. To seethe. Boil (with rage). To hit the roof. «Exploded» with anger, rant and rave. To quieten down. Subsides.
- Scare (Afraid):
… Well, naturally most of us were scared stiff. Only Maggie kept cool throughout. Mum went as white as a sheet and even Dad panicked a bit. Auntie Jane’s hair stood on end and Uncle Bill ran a mile. I must confess that my heart missed a beat or two. I mean, it’s not every day that a tax inspector comes to your front door, is it? All the time he was with us, Uncle Mac was twitching as if he had an army of ants inside his shirt collar. Whenever the phrase «failure to declare earned income» came up, Aunt Flossie winced and Mac’s hand started shaking so much he could not light his pipe. It was obvious that Granny was trembling too when she tried to pick her cup of tea up — three times. Everyone shuddered visibly when the man said he would be back — everyone except Maggie, that is. She did not flinch once, did not turn a hair. She’s either a very good actress or extremely honest.
To be scared stiff. Being scared to death. To keep cool. Keep a straight face, cool. As white as a sheet. Pale as a sheet. To panic. Panic. One’s hair stands on end. Hair stand on end. To run a mile. To run aimlessly; as the wind blew. My heart missed a beat. Heart sank. To twitch. Very flinch. To wince. Wince wince. To shake. Shake, shake. To tremble. Shake, shake. To shudder. Shudder shudder; throw in a shiver. To flinch. Shudders; distort. Not to turn a hair. And do not blink an eye.
- Confused (Embarrassed):
… I could see that Julia was dying of embarrassment — not surprisingly, in the circumstances. I bet the incident is still on her conscience. Anyway, I could feel that I was blushing, and the other chap was as red as a beetroot. Julia had a terribly guilty look in her eyes, or rather, she had guilt written all over her face. She started stammering something about feeling tired and having come up for a rest. I did not know where to put myself, I can tell you. I stood there for a few seconds hoping a hole would open up in the floor and swallow me. In the end I just gulped and backed out of the room.
To die of embarrassment. Die of embarrassment. On one’s conscience. Have something on your conscience feel guilty for feeling guilty. To blush. Blush, blush with embarrassment, shame. As red as a beetroot. Red as a lobster. To have a terribly guilty look in one’s eyes. In his eyes it is clear that fault. To have guilt written all over one’s face. Wine is written on his face. To stammer. Stutter. Not to know where to put oneself. Do not know where to go. To hope a hole would open up in the floor and swallow me. Be prepared to fall into the ground.
- Funny (Amused):
… Well, everyone burst out laughing, of course. Uncle Bill laughed his head off, and Auntie Jane nearly died laughing. And you should have seen Granny; she was in hysterics. She nearly split her sides laughing. Even Uncle Mac could not help laughing when he realized what the cause of their laughter was. The vicar was the only one who did not see the funny side of things; completely straight-faced, stony-faced he was. Granny was still hysterical long after Uncle Mac had turned round, chuckling to himself, and put the matter straight.
I burst out laughing. Burst out laughing. To laugh one’s head off. Ride with laughter, dying with laughter. Nearly die laughing. I almost died laughing. To be in hysterics. In hysterics. Can not help laughing. You can not help but laugh. Not to see the funny side of things. Do not see the whole absurdity of the situation. To chuckle. Laugh (quiet), chuckling. To split one’s sides laughing. Bursting belly laugh.
To fix the words and phrases we offer to perform the following tasks:
Choose the correct word to complete each sentence: