HOME: The Story of Maine

"Trails, Rails, and Roads," Lesson 1: Language and Transportation

Student worksheet: Idiom List*

Almost every day, each of us gets in a car, train, bus, or on a bike or boat in order to get somewhere. We rely on transportation. Methods of transportation have affected our history, our economy, and our culture. They have even influenced the way we speak. The idioms listed below all came from a certain mode of transportation. Try to guess the origin and the meaning of each of these idioms. Write your guesses in the space provided.

Idiom
Meaning and Origin
Dooryard visit, or dooryard call


Like a train of cars, or going to beat the cars


Potato bug


Rimwracked



Sandpaper the anchor



Take the wind out of his sails



Stem to stern


Corduroy; To hit the corduroy



To find a hole in the beach



A yes-marm



Baggin' the bowline



Balled up



Coiled his ropes.


Luff and bear away



Mud Season



One lunger



*Idioms and origins from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats, by John Gould. Camden: Down East Magazine. 1975.

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