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Idioms are weird.

At the Writing Center, we encounter all the weirdness of the English language on a daily basis. From idioms to irregular verbs, sometimes we just shrug our shoulders and say, “that’s just the way it is.”

But this great article explains 10 weird phrases that might have us shrugging our shoulders. So next time, we’ll be prepared to teach. Check these out!

  1. Cut to the chase

    This phrase meaning “get to the point” originally was used by people who wanted to jump to the exciting part of a film. Much like the pleadings of a little boy who wants to skip the mushy kissing scenes in a movie and head straight for the action clips, “cut to the chase” referred to the preferences of audiences (and sometimes directors) of silent films in the 1920s. The movies were normally full of romantic gestures and other boring stuff, but they often ended with a thrilling chase. Many early movie-goers would’ve like the director to just cut to the chase and not make them suffer through the dull love story. The expression has grown to mean that someone wants to avoid the unnecessary details and get down to the important points.