Phrase of the Day

Ginger’s Phrase of the Day provides you with a daily dose of interesting facts and trivia on some of the more, and less, common phrases in the English language. Learn the real meaning behind these phrases, when and how to use them and other less-known info behind each phrase.

Devil’s Advocate

‘Devil’s Advocate’ is someone who pretends, in an argument or discussion, to be against an idea or plan that a lot of people support, in order to make people discuss and consider the idea in more detail.

Example of use:?So you believe that Canadians are friendly? I’m going to be the devil’s advocate and say that they’re unfriendly!

Ivy League

‘Ivy League’ is a group of eight universities in the Northeastern United Stated, which have a reputation of high scholastic achievements and social prestige.

Example of use:?“We really want Gordon to be the first person in our family to attend one of the Ivy League?Universities. That’s why he’s been taking violin, chess, fencing and?French lessons since he was 6 years old.”

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Johnny On the Spot

The phrase ‘Johnny On the Spot’ refers to a person who is always available, ready, reliable and willing to perform a duty or a task without delay.

Example of use: “when Gabriel comes over, you need to be my Johnny on the Spot and make sure that?we have whatever he needs.”

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Top Banana

The ‘Top Banana’ is the leading person, the most powerful or important person in the group or organization.

Example of use:?“Everybody agrees that Misha is the top banana in the office.”?

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In the Pink

When someone’s described as ‘In the Pink’, that means he is in peak physical condition and in the best possible health.

Example of use:?“Jon recovered from his surgery in less than 10 days, and is now in the pink of condition.”

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Going Postal

‘Going Postal’ means to become extremely angry, often to the point of rage and violence, especially when provoked in a workplace setting.

Example of use:?“Did you hear that Mark went postal yesterday at the office, after his manager told him that Jane’s getting the promotion he was promised.”


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Red-Letter Day

The phrase ‘Red-Letter Day’ can be used to signify a special or memorable day, a day of importance, such as a holiday, birthday, anniversary etc.

Example of use:?Jacob —?“I finished my last exam yesterday. From now on you can call me a college graduate.” Josh —?“Well, yesterday was truly a red-letter day for you.”?

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Beside Oneself

The phrase ‘Beside Oneself’?describes a distressed?person in an extreme emotional state, brought by a situation that causes one to be out of his wit and senses.

Example of use:?“I know Daniel saw your girlfriend at the movies last night with another man, but there’s no reason to be beside yourself, he’s probably her cousin.”

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A doppelganger is a person that resembles, and looks like someone else, however, is not related to the first person.

Example of use:?Don?—?“I saw Mark at the movies last night, but he didn’t seem to notice me when I called him. Do you know if he’s angry at me, and why?” Amos —”That’s so weird, cause Mark is on a business trip in India since last Wednesday. I think you saw his doppelganger.”

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‘Photobomb’ is when an unexpected person or thing that either intentionally or by accident appears as the photograph is being taken. Photobombing usually happens as a practical joke, and without the acknowledgement of the main subjects of the photo.

Example of use:?“I can’t believe that almost all of our wedding photos were photobombed by that crazy pigeon. In one of them you can even see the moment he tried to attack my husband.”

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Snail Mail

The phrase ‘Snail Mail’ (or ‘Smail’) refer to mail that was carried by the traditional postal delivery service.

Example of use: Daria –”I didn’t get your wedding invitation yet and the wedding is in 3 days.” Ruth –”Well, I guess that’s why it’s called Snail Mail, cause I’ve mailed the invitations 2 weeks ago and they still haven’t arrived, though we live in the same city.”

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