In Proceedings By Svetlana

Scary phrases and idioms on Halloween: be prepared!

Halloween — a holiday that has come to us from Western culture, this phenomenon we have to the United States. In our country, there is an ambiguous attitude to the foreign triumph: someone believes that their holidays enough, and someone the idea to change into a terrifying monster and show off the glory seems very enticing. However, all agree on one thing: it’s time Halloween — it’s a great time to have fun, poudivlyatsya oddity and daring costumes and earn some money. It’s no secret that Halloween — this is a good commercial project, and about the origins of the holiday, few remember.

  • Details about the history of Halloween, read our article «Halloween: through the centuries, through the manners …».

I would like to focus not on the holiday of Halloween, and its linguistic aspect — phrases and idioms that somehow can be related to the topic. Please pay attention to the most common word-horror stories.

Halloween in the English language: words and expressions

Halloween phrases
Word Translation Picture
All Hallows Eve Hallowe’en
(the second name of Halloween)
Bat Bat
Bogeyman Boogeyman
(a fictional character, intimidating disobedient children)
Broom / broomstick Broom
Candle Candle
Casket / coffin Coffin
Cauldron Cauldron
Cemetery Cemetery
Corpse Corpse
Ghost Specter
Grim Reaper Grim Reaper
(grim Reaper)
Jack O’Lantern Jack-o’-lantern
(pumpkin illuminated)
Scarecrow Bogey
Skeleton Skeleton
Skull Skull
Witch Witch

And now let’s examine a list of 10 terribly interesting idioms in the English language, they appear witches, skeletons and other supernatural beings! Let me remind you briefly, idioms — a well-established phrase whose meaning can not be understood in the literal translation. These expressions are figurative sense.

Halloween in English: Idioms

  1. No chance in hell — no chance.

    You have no chance in hell of getting promotion at work. — You have no chance to get a promotion at work.

  2. Skeleton in the supboard — skeleton in the closet, a shameful family secret. There are interesting versions of the appearance of the phrase. According to one of them, one family had a wardrobe, which kept the skeleton. The story goes that in Japan in the early 20th century there were many centenarians, who were 90 and even 100 years. So the elderly solid state paid pensions. For example, the infamous family is financially dependent on the long-lived retired grandfather, so much so that after his death the family decided not to talk about death and continued to receive cash payments from the state. Corpse decided to hide in the closet. A couple of years really climbed out, and with it an expression.

    Every family has its own skeleton in cupboard. — Every family has its secrets.

  3. Skeleton staff — minimum number of people, which is necessary to the office (agency) is operating normally.

    The hospitals have usually skeleton staff at Christmas — in the hospital for Christmas holidays usually works a minimum number of employees.

  4. To scare the pants off someone — very frightened, so that the pants scared!

    When I watched the film «Silent Hills» for the first time, it scared the pants off me. — The film «Silent Hill» scared the hell out of me when I first watched it.

  5. To make the blood run cold — make styt blood in his veins, very scared.

    The unexpected screams made his blood run cold. — From an unexpected shout his blood ran cold.

  6. A witch-hunt — a witch hunt, persecution of dissidents. The phrase appeared in the Middle Ages, when the Inquisition announced hunt for witches and wizards. Women and men, who were accused of witchcraft, burned at the stake. Now the phrase is used in the case of an investigation of alleged illegal activities of certain groups of people who have a different point of view on the situation, whose position differs from that of the majority.

    Famous TV star said that she fall a victim of a media witch-hunt. — A well-known television star said she was a victim of the media and the witch-hunt.

  7. Devil-may-care attitude — care attitude.

    His devil-may-care attitude will do him no good. — His care attitude will not bring him any good.

  8. To be full of the devil — to bear the damage causing trouble.

    These kids are full of the devil! They are always up to something. — These kids cause trouble. They are always up to something.

  9. To be as white as a ghost — be pale as a ghost, out of fear, shock or illness.

    Oh my god! What’s happened to you? You are as white as a ghost. — God, what happened to you? You’re pale as a ghost.

  10. To scare the hell out of somebody — very scare someone.

    Do not do that again! You scared the hell out of me! — Do not do that again, you scared me half to death!

Despite the fact that the feast of Halloween — a mixed day in our calendar, it has helped enrich your vocabulary 20+ new phrases and expressions. Happy Halloween! Do not forget to pass a little test!



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