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In the Loop

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Source: In the Loop: A Reference Guide to American English Idioms by the Office of English Language Programs United States Department of State In The Loop is a reference guide to American English idioms. It will not only help students learn the meaning of American idioms, but also give them an understanding of the history, culture, values, and beliefs these idioms reflect. MY OTHER ANKI DECKS For more information, please see the Essential Idioms in English page. Nickolay Nonard <kelciour@gmail.com>

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Id in_the_loop_782
Definition to improvise; to do something without planning or preparation
Examples Today is the day I’m supposed to present my report to the board of directors, but I’m not at all prepared. When I stand up in front of them, I’m going to have to wing it.We don’t know how we’re going to handle the situation. It’s hard to plan for something like this in advance, so we’ll just wing it and hope for the best.
Cross-Refs Similar: by the seat of (one’s) pants, play it by ear
Extra Info Dating from the late 19th century, wing it was originally a theatrical term. Impromptu (unprepared) actors would quickly look over their speaking lines before going onto stage and then someone in the wings (behind the stage curtains) would prompt the actors on their exact lines.
Category Conversation
Id in_the_loop_251
Definition to get serious or practical about something
Examples I think we’ve fooled around with this plan long enough. It’s time to get down to brass tacks.The meeting should have started fifteen minutes ago. I have another appointment in an hour, and I wish we would get down to business.Your ideas in this report are hard to understand. Why not take out all the useless information and get down to the nitty gritty?
Cross-Refs Compare to: (sentence 1) talk turkey; (sentence 2) get the show on the road
Extra Info To get down to business means to get serious and start. To get down to the nitty gritty means to get to the basic issue or problem.
Category Job/Work
Id in_the_loop_618
Definition a very dependable and unpretentious person
Examples You can count on Ruth to be there when you need her. She’s the salt of the earth.Greg may not be a very exciting person, but he’ll never let you down or disappoint you. He’s the salt of the earth.
Extra Info
Category People: descriptions of people (nouns)

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