ACET Idiom of the Week!

Water off a duck’s back

This expression means that you can insult or criticise someone but it doesn’t affect them in the slightest.


 Ducks have oily feathers and water can’t get through them, so water runs off their backs.  In the same way, some people don’t allow criticism to get at them and upset them. Instead they leave it go like ‘water off a duck’s back’.

 duck 2Examples:-

  1. The newspaper wrote terrible things about John but it rolled off him like water off a duck’s back.
  2. Susan critisised Tom’s play so much that it really hurt the actors. But to Tom it was like water off a duck’s back.

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Idiom of the Week!

The Apple of My Eye heart

If one is to describe somebody as the Apple of My Eye, it implies that they cherish or favour someone and think more highly of that person than others. It is also commonly associated with describing or expressing feelings of love for someone.

For example. ‘I was so deeply in love. She was the apple of my eye.’


The origins of this commonly used phrase date back to Biblical times. The first known use of the phrase appeared in the King James Bible which was one of the first known translations of the Bible from Hebrew into the English language. This version of the Bible became the most widely printed in history.

Later again the phrase famously appeared in Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Nights’ Dream’.

In more recent years the phrase featured as the name of song by the popular Irish band Bell X 1.

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ACET Idiom of the Week!

This week’s idiom is Have a whale of a time.


This expression means to really enjoy yourself.

Whales are one of the greatest creatures in the world. So when someone uses this expression, they are simply telling you to have the greatest time possible.


  • Enjoy your holidays! I hope you have a whale of a time.
  • We had a whale of a time at the Christmas party.

ACET Idiom of the Week!

This week’s idiom is Knee-high to a grasshopper


This expression means to be very small, very young or both.

This idiom originated in America back in 1814 when it used to be “knee high to a toad”. Along the way it changed to knee high to a frog, mosquito, bumblebee and jackrabbit. Now it is mostly known as a grasshopper.


  • I haven’t seen you since you were knee-high to a grasshopper.
  • Lucy was only knee-high to a grasshopper when she moved to Ireland.

What are your memories when you were knee-high to a grasshopper?

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.’