I find myself crossing idioms and saying things that get lots of blank looks, especially from people whose native tongue is not English (which I am fortunate enough to deal with on a regular basis). I usually catch myself after the fact, but am not doing so great at heading them off at the pass (oops, there’s one). Before I let the cat out of the bag, let me say that idioms and plays on words can Trump regular words to make your speech rich with meaning. I suppose I could kill two birds with one stone, but I don’t want to count any unhatched chickens, give you value hand over fist, and these things are not cut and dried but hit and miss.Had a reminder of how ingrained figures of speech are tonite (hey, I was raised Suthun’, y’all). Putting The Boy to bed with our nightly ritual of a story about a boy’s day (who seems to have adventures hauntingly similar to The Boy). Tonite I was really talking up this boy’s cooperation at bedtime with something along the lines of “and dad said it was time for bed, and this little boy knew the drill”. We finished and The Boy just could not figure it out… “Dad, where’s the drill?” I laughed, but he just had to know where that drill was. I told him I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of it and they must be where daddy’s marbles were — lost.
Idioms are best saved for casual environments, and not places where a critical message or dubious language skills are involved.