English Idioms from Boxing: Quiz and Audio Lesson

Jane Lawson,  English Teacher at DailyStep EnglishHello, I'm Jane at DailyStep English!

This quiz and audio lesson will make sure you understand how to use these great idioms. If you are new to DailyStep English, please register for a free trial of 5 UK/USA audio lessons to help your English speaking, listening, vocabulary and pronunciation. 


Choose the correct answer:

Next, Listen to this lesson, to check that you can use these idioms properly!

.

English Idioms from Boxing
By Jane Lawson at DailyStep.com

Idiom:
1. To throw in the towel

Meaning:

to stop trying to do something because you realise that you cannot succeed

Example:   2 of the 5 candidates in the election have now thrown in the towel, so there are only 3 candidates left now.

Origin of this idiom: When a boxer is ready to quit before the end of a boxing match, he indicates this by throwing his towel into the middle of the boxing ring.


2. Below the belt

 

Unfair, hurtful or insulting

Example: That comment was really below the belt and I think you should apologise.

Origin of this idiom: In boxing, it is against the rules to punch your opponent below the belt, in other words, below the waist. All punches must be from the waist upwards.


3. Saved by the bell


We say this when a situation ends before we have to say or do something we do not want to do

Example:  My train arrived just before I had time to answer that difficult question. Saved by the bell!

Origin of this idiom: In boxing, the bell is sounded when the boxing match is finished.


4.  Be out for the count


Be sleeping deeply

Example: It looks as if Brendan is out for the count - he must be very tired!

Origin of this idiom: If a boxer is knocked down by his opponent, the referee starts counting to 10. If the boxer does not stand up before the referee reaches number 10, he is ‘out for the count’ and loses the boxing match.


5. Pull no punches


Speak very honestly without holding back unwelcome information

Example: He certainly didn’t pull any punches when he told us about the accident - he told us all the details.

Origin of this idiom: In the past, if a boxer ‘pulled his punches’, it meant that he did not hit his opponent as hard as possible.

 

So, now you know these 5 idioms! Try to write your own examples to help you remember them better. You can download a free PDF file of this lesson at the bottom of this page, and if you are a DailyStep subscriber, you can also download the audio file.

 

Now, listen to these free audio summaries of all the DailyStep Subscriber Audio Lessons this week. As a subscriber, you can also download premium audio in ALL my blogs:

Level 5: Advanced Level

Discussion about the economic crisis.  During the 2010 financial crisis, Ben and Sally discuss the reasons that Greece finds itself in a dire financial position and also talk about possible solutions to the debt crisis. These 5 lessons will help you to talk about the global economy as well as the Greek one, and they will help you to discuss any financial crisis. You will also learn many advanced financial idioms and phrasal verbs.

Buy Level 5  DailyStep Audio Lessons

Level 4: High Intermediate Level

Talking about car troubles.  When Gary’s car is fixed at a garage, he gets a shock when the mechanic tells him how much it is going to cost! He makes arrangements on the telephone with the garage to collect the car, and tells Ellen how he feels about the bill. With these 5 lessons, you will learn how to deal with a garage, discuss a bill and ask for recommendations, plus of course plenty of idioms and phrasal verbs.

Buy Level 4  DailyStep Audio Lessons

Level 3: Intermediate Level

Restaurant English. Amanda and Joe discuss which kind of restaurant to eat in, and then when they are at the restaurant, they talk about the menu and what they would like to eat. They order their food and drinks, but some of the order does not arrive and they have to complain. These 5 lessons are great practice for anyone who eats in restaurants or works in a restaurant.

Buy Level 3  DailyStep Audio Lessons

Level 2: Elementary Level

Business English.  These 5 lessons will teach you how to make arrangements for a business meeting, discuss the time and location of meetings, ask a colleague about a meeting and how to talk about the subject of a meeting. Great revision for higher levels too!

Buy Level 2 DailyStep Audio Lessons

Level 1: Beginner Level  

Asking questions in English lessons. In these 5 lessons, you will learn how to ask questions about English, including spelling and meaning. These are important skills for all students! 

Buy Level 1 DailyStep Audio Lessons

 Have you tried our Extra Lessons?


Learn English through literature, drama, comedy, history, natural conversation and more! 

more | plus | más | altro | 続き | 자세히


 

Download this lesson: If you are a subscriber to my DailyStep Audio Lessons, you can download this audio file below. The PDF is free for everyone!