ACET Idiom of the Week!


 The ball is in your court

Phrases like these are used because they provide an easy way to quickly communicate an idea.  The phrase ‘The ball is in your court’ is a commonly used idiom in the English language.

Most people are familiar with the sport of tennis, so in tennis if the ball is in your court then it is your turn to hit the ball to continue the game.

While the phrase ‘the ball is in your court’ does indeed describe a play in the game of tennis, this is not the intended meaning when used in casual conversation.


It actually refers to the decision making process in which another person has the responsibility to make the next action or make the next decision.

For example – ‘I offered Jenny the job. It is up to her now. The ball is in her court.’


Proverb of the Week!

Birds of a feather flock together


A flock is a group or family of birds that have the same type of feathers. This proverb means that people like to spend time with others that are of the same sort or with the same interests just like a flock of birds.

This proverb has been in use since at least the mid 16th century. In 1545 William Turner used a version of it in his papist satire The Rescuing of Romish Fox:

“Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.”


Example Sentence:

Sarah:             “Why does Tom always get into trouble like his brother?”

Susanne:         “Well, you know what they say, birds of a feather flock together.”


Proverb of the Week!

A watched pot never boils


This proverb means that time seems to slow down when we wait anxiously for something to happen.


In Ireland when anybody calls to the house, we always offer our guest a cup of tea. If we watch and wait for the kettle to boil, it seems to take a very long time. Whereas, if we are chatting to our guest, the kettle boils before we know it!      Tea




An English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell first used it in ‘Mary Barton’ (1848), giving the exact wording of the current version.

“my master told me to see you to bed, and I mun. What’s the use of watching? A watched pot never boils, and I see you are after watching that weathercock. Why now, I try never to look at it, else I could do nought else. My heart many a time goes sick when the wind rises, but I turn away and work away, and try never to think on the wind, but on what I ha’ getten to do.”

Example Sentence:-

Tony said that he could not wait any longer for his birthday party. I told Tony not to think about it because a watched pot never boils.


Proverb of the Week!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder


This proverb means that everybody has their own opinion of what or who is beautiful.

Nobody knows exactly where this proverb originated from. The following are a few earlier quotes:


“Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.”


‘Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye’.

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford who wrote many books:-

In Molly Bawn, 1878, there’s the line “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.


 Miss piggy

Miss Piggy :- 

‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.’


Example Sentence:-

Sara:      “I don’t understand how Lisa can find Dave attractive”.

Val:        “Well, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.




Proverb of the Week!



This proverb describes the feeling when sometimes we would be happier in a different set of circumstances.

This commonly quoted phrase describes the tendency to long for things that we do not have.

Example: ‘If we lived in Australia, we could have a barbeque in the sun every evening. Oh well, the grass is always greener on the other side.’

bbq thinking

In Ireland the phrase is often shortened to ‘far away hills are greener’.

The proverb features in this song by Travis