Idiomatic expressions which can be simply referred to as an idiom is a distinctive type of language and are known for their ‘hidden meaning’. Unlike ordinary language, it makes use of words, phrases, and sentences to convey symbolic meaning rather than literal meaning. Given its nature, the conveyance of its meaning is not entirely dependent on the grammatical structure and conventions of the language it is said but rather can be treated as constitutive. An idiom varies from language to language, from one group of individuals to another, or even from one individual to another.

The meaning of a particular idiom can only be extracted from native speakers of a certain language. It is not the same way outsiders might understand it. In other words, the underlying connotation of an idiom can also change from a group of individuals or from person to person who speaks the same language. To put it simply, an idiom is dependent on whoever speaks of it with regards to the community he or she lives in or even on what grounds he or she wanted that certain idiom to fit. Given all the conditions mentioned above, the meaning of an idiom is fluid. It is no secret to us that language can change over time in a given space and time. An idiom might take a different meaning from generation to generation making idioms stand out on any day-to-day basis. Another thing about idioms may be passed on or can simply be invented but mostly the latter. Idioms can exist over a long period but their meaning is not the same as it was first spoken. Whatever the case may be, idioms are important manifestations of diversity in the use of language and can be treated as a cultural heritage. Every language has its own set of idioms whose meaning can only be determined by a native speaker.

Idioms often make use of analogy, the interrelationships of symbols, and how they are seemingly connected to each other. In a way, idioms can be ambiguous, but it doesn’t mean they can be void of meaning, it’s just that there are many things you have to consider first like what language is the speaker using or in what place he or she came from or even in what way does he or she intends to use and that what makes an idiom special in their own way.

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Jessa Payofelin

I am 21 yrs. old and currently a third-year student at the University of the Philippines Visayas Miag-ao campus taking up a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. I am currently residing at Sinogbuhan San Joaquin, Iloilo. My hobbies include writing, reading, watching Korean drama, and listening to k-pop.