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Student Information

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TIPS

Idioms with TURKEY and CHICKEN

by St Giles Vancouver

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October, and in the USA it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.  In both countries, it is traditional to prepare a large meal, usually with a turkey or other large fowl and great quantities of harvest vegetables.



Talk turkey:   this means  speak seriously and frankly

Example 1:  Let’s talk turkey -  when did you last pay your rent on time?

Example 2:  Don’t call me again until you are ready to talk turkey!

 

To quit cold turkey:  this means to completely stop doing something without gradual preparation

Example 1:  I smoked for 15 years and then one day I just quit cold turkey.

Example 2:  How did you break your habit?  Laser treatment?  No, just cold turkey.

 

What a turkey! :  This usually refers to a stupid or annoying person

Example 1:  Robert took my car without asking and was in an accident.  What a turkey!

Example 2:  John didn’t give his wife anything on her birthday.  What a turkey!

 

To chicken out:  This means to not follow through with something due to lack of courage

Example:  I was gong to go on that new roller coaster, but I chickened out.

 

Chicken scratch:   This means bad hand writing

Example:  I can’t read my doctor’s writing.  It’s chicken scratch!

 

No Spring Chicken:  This refers to someone who is older

Example:  I don’t think he’ll be able to climb that mountain. He’s no spring chicken!