Vocabulary builder: Idioms and phrases for the New Year


Bár már 6 napja új év van - azért ezt a szókincsbővítő feladatot érdemes mindenkinek átnéznie:) 

New Year is a time when we often take stock of our life (think about what is good or bad about it). We may feel that we should draw a line under the past (finish with it and forget about it) and make a fresh start. This post looks at idioms and other phrases connected with this phenomenon.

If we decide to stop doing something we consider to be bad and to start behaving in a better way, we can say that we are going to turn over a new leaf. We might decide to kick a habit such as smoking (stop doing it), have a crack at (try) a new hobby, or even leave a dead-end job (one with no chance of promotion) or finish a relationship that isn’t going anywhere.

Of course, many of these things are difficult. You may have decided to give up sweets once and for all (definitely and for ever), but that’s easier said than done when you receive a birthday box of your favourite chocolates. If you have a bad day or two, it’s easy to feel that you are back to square one (have made no progress). However, people who advise on such things will tell you that it’s not all or nothing – if you break your resolution, it’s not the end of the world and you can soon be back on the straight and narrow (doing what you should be doing).

In order to stick to a resolution, there are some strategies you can use. First, you could put your money where your mouth is (pay money to show you are serious about something), for instance by taking out a gym membership to get fit. One common piece of advice is to take it one day at a time (not focus too much on the long-term goal). After all, as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Another is not to bite off more than you can chew (not try to do too much) – we all know someone whose New Year’s resolution to ‘renovate their house’ means that they and their family are still living in a building site ten years later. It’s also important to be realistic – with the best will in the world (even with a lot of effort), a chain-smoking couch potato (lazy person) isn’t likely to give up cigarettes and go running five times a week. It may be a good idea to get the ball rolling (start) with a more modest aim.

Some people are very successful in their resolutions. Once they’ve decided to bite the bullet (do something difficult), they get their act together (organize themselves effectively)   achieving what they want to achieve. If they manage to stay the course (not give up), they will see their efforts bear fruit.

And finally, I could not leave this topic without one well-known proverb: the road to hell is paved with good intentions, which means that although people often intend to be good, they often fail at it.

Happy New Year!

source: dictionaryblog.cambridge.org



Hungarian translation

to take stock of sy’s life

to think about what is good or bad about it

számbavenni, leltározni

to draw a line under the past

to finish with it and forget about it

lezárni a múltat és új lapot kezdeni

to make a fresh start

an opportunity to begin something again

új lapot nyitni, valami újat kezdeni

to turn over a new leaf

to start to act or behave in a better or more responsible way

új életet kezdeni

to kick a habit

to stop doing it

feladni egy szokást, leszokni valamiről

to have a crack at

to try

kipróbálni, megpróbálni

to leave a dead-end job

to leave a job in which there is no chance of progressing to a better, more important job

otthagyni az előléptetésre reményt sem nyújtó állást

with no chance of

it`s not at all possible

esély sincs valamire

it isn’t going anywhere

it’s not your priority, it’s not advancing

stagnál, nem megy előre

once and for all

definitely and for ever

egyszer s mindenkorra

easier said than done

be more easily talked about than put into practice

könnyebb mondani, mint megvalósítani

to be back to square one

to have made no progress

újra elölről kezdeni

it’s all or nothing

​relates to doing something either completely or not at all

mindent vagy semmit

to break sy’s resolution

to not keep your promise

nem tartja meg a fogadalmát

it’s not the end of the world

something bad is not really as serious as someone thinks it is

ez még nem a világ vége

to be back on the straight and narrow

to do what you should be doing

visszatérni a helyes/egyenes útra

to stick to a resolution

to not give up on sg you’ve promised to do

kitartani az elhatározása mellett

to put your money where your mouth is

to pay money to show you are serious about something

anyagilag is befektetni valamibe, hogy látsszon, hogy komolyan gondoljuk

to take it one day at a time

to not focus too much on the long-term goal

csak kis időtávban/egy nappal előre gondolkodni

Rome wasn’t built in a day

important work takes time

Róma sem egy nap alatt épült fel/ jó munkához idő kell

to not bite off more than you can chew

to not try to do something that is too difficult for you

aki sokat markol, keveset fog – olyanba fogj bele, amit el is tudsz végezni

with the best will in the world

even with a lot of effort

még, ha a legjobbat akarjuk, sem






to consider

valamilyennek tekinteni



to give up

feladni, abbahagyni








New Year’s resolution

újévi fogadalom






jól ismert



to fail at

kudarcot vallani

Kapcsolódó anyagok

Egyéb megjegyzés