American English is filled with all sorts of idioms that can leave learners of the language more than a little confused. An idiom is a phrase or expression of which the actual meaning is different from the meanings of each word separately.
If we say that someone is "under the weather," for example, most Americans understand that phrase to mean that the person isn't feeling well. A non-American, on the other hand, might wonder why a person would be standing outside "under the weather" and what that has to do with him or her missing work today -- unless, of course, it's "raining cats and dogs" which must be a very unusual meteorological storm of airborne house pets that would certainly explain the reason for one's absence. Of course, if one does make it to work, one must "pitch in" and be "on the ball" or "face the music."
You get the idea.
Some idioms are downright confusing, especially when they refer to another person. Take the expression "piece of work." When we refer to someone as a ...
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