Backhanded Compliment

I was replying to a comment in a post, and I referenced a backhanded compliment. It is when what someone may say that sounds like a compliment due to tone of voice, word choice, and body language. However, it is really an insult intended to make the recipient feel bad. It gives the appearance of being friendly when it really is the opposite.
The "backhanded" part comes from the disguised nature of the insult. If someone is hit with the back of a hand (also known as being backhanded), it is harder to see it coming. It likely will be a surprise. Backhanded itself can refer to anything that is insincere, malicious, or has back intent.

Looking Through Rose Colored Glasses

Have you ever met someone who refuses to see the problems surrounding him or her?  That person may be Wearing or Looking Through Rose Colored Glasses.

It turns what is gray and stormy into sunny and pleasant.

It may be looking at a relationship that has no future.  It may be remembering an idealized past.  It may be ignoring the evidence and doing nothing about a problem expecting it to come out all right in the end.

We all need a break from reality from time to time, but Looking Through Rose Colored Glasses all the time can be a dangerous way to live.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

I have been hearing the phrase "Chickens Coming Home to Roost" a lot lately.  This is a very colorful one with a long history.

It means that the consequences of something bad or mistakes that a person has said or done are beginning to happen.

The short version is that these errors come back to haunt a person like chickens coming back to their nests ... to roost ... at the end of the day.  A similar concept is karma.  A related idiom is "What Goes Around Comes Around."

Do you have any idioms or weird phrases in English that you've been wondering about?  Share them in the comment section.

Cut to the Chase

Just the other day, I found myself telling someone to Cut to the Chase. This is another of those Americanisms relating to doing things quickly. Asking someone to Cut to the Chase is very similar to asking them what is The Bottom Line.

It means to quit rambling on with endless details or background and to get to the point. Skip the dull bits, and get to the action. It comes from film editing where a director or producer's note might be to cut to the (car) chase.

From The Italian Job, 1969

It's one of my favorites.  I use it all the time ... just not always out loud. ;)

Earth Shattering

And Today's Idiom is Earth Shattering. It refers to news that is life changing for virtually everyone on earth. It is as if the old earth was completely destroyed, and we are now living on a new planet earth.
These would include events like the Arab Spring, the French Revolution, the Berlin Wall coming down, things that change the way that we see everyday life. On a personal scale, it might be like when we become parents or when a loved one dies.