For many years I’ve enjoyed the regular visits, comments and support of a loyal reader living in Fort Worth, Texas. He knows who he is. Recently he had a relative visiting his family from Panama, and on the way back, she brought back a surprise from my loyal reader. The surprise was a wonderful reference book dubbed, “Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook”. It is the most comprehensive reference for understanding and applying American idioms.
If you are studying English as your second language, you already know that the real key to mastering any language, beyond having a good grasp of grammar and vocabulary is knowing how to use idioms and idiomatic expressions. The difficulty lies in the fact that the wording of the idiom doesn’t has anything to do with its meaning. You have to know the meaning and the context in which they are used. There are different idioms in different parts of the United States. If you haven’t lived in the country, the learning curve can be really steep and nightmarish. Been there. Done that.
After returning home, I started leafing through the book and found it to be a linguistic treasure, perfect to place it under our Christmas tree in December. I’m so happy with this present, that I’m walking two feet off the ground.
The above idiom is used to express a state of mind of being very happy, blissfully happy, ecstatic. Almost all the idioms that express great happiness and joy allude to being off the ground, up in the air. You may also hear people say “walking 6 to 10 feet off the ground instead of just two feet”.
Thank you Jim and Nena for this magnificent gift which I will put to work even as we speak. The earlier idiom was extracted from the aforementioned book. I also want to thank María de los Ángeles for meeting me in Panama City and delivering the idiomatic surprise. I couldn’t resist the temptation of taking her picture and capturing the event. This is the person who provided the transportation of the reference book to Panama. Here we go.