Friday, August 5, 2011

Bite off more than you can chew & Birds of a Feather Flock Together - English Idioms

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

“Everyone at that table plays soccer. No wonder they are friends. After all, birds of a feather flock together.”


Meaning: people who have things in common, such as interests and ideas, usually hang out together; people who are alike often become friends.
Origin: This saying, which is over 2,000 years old and comes from the Bible, is based on the observation that birds of the same species flock together on the ground as well as in the air. The meaning has been broadened over the years, so that “birds” means “people” and “of a feather” means “of the same type”.


Bite off more than you can chew

“You can’t captain the team, keep wickets and open the innings. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”


Meaning: to take on a task that is more than you can accomplish; to be greedy, overconfident, or too ambitious by taking on more jobs or responsibilities than you can deal with at one time.
Origin: Versions of this saying were used in Europe in the Middle Age and ancient China. If you take a bite of food that’s too big for your mouth, you won’t be able to chew it. This idea came to mean undertaking (“biting off”) a job that’s too much for you to handle (“more than you can chew”).

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