Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーHung Out to Dry「助けてもらえなかった」

Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーHung Out to Dry「助けてもらえなかった」

Hello, this is Simon.



Even though I have never been a big fan of winter, the winter weather in Japan is generally nice. Unlike New Zealand, which is wet and rainy, it is usually sunny and the air is as dry as a bone. I thought this would be a good thing, but in recent years I have been developing deep cracks in my hands from the dry air. They really hurt. That’s my main complaint for the moment.

So far, February this year has been quite pleasant. The days have been relatively mild. So, I have enjoyed being outside. Whenever I have the chance, I’ve been taking the kids to a local park. When we go I usually buy my daughter a drink from the vending machine to have at the park.

I took them just the other day. But, this time, my wife told me not to buy a drink, as it is a bad habit for kids to get a treat like that every time they go out. I assured her I wouldn’t, but when we got to the park, my daughter begged me repeatedly. In the end, I relented. We all had a good time at the park, and came home in high spirits. My wife was quick to find the empty bottle from the vending machine though. She held it up, and my daughter quickly said “Papa said it was OK.” “Really?” answered my wife. It seemed I had just been hung out to dry by my own daughter. Yep, she had left me high and dry.

Nothing more was said, but I knew I had lost a few brownie points. My wife doesn’t get angry over every little thing. She often likes to keep her powder dry and save it for those special occasions. I don’t think I got off scot-free, but at least I didn’t end up in the dog house this time…



“as dry as a bone”

The expression “as dry as a bone” means extremely dry. It is often used to describe things such as the soil during a dry spell or drought, but it can also be used to talk about the condition of the air outside.

”hung out to dry”

To “hang someone out to dry” means to cause them to take all of the blame for something
(e.g. Instead of taking responsibility for the disaster, the politician hung his staff out to dry.)

“left me high and dry”

To “leave someone high and dry” means to leave them in a difficult situation, or abandon them
(e.g. While travelling overseas once, my bag with everything in it got stolen. I was left high and dry without a passport or any money.)

“brownie points”

“Brownie points” are like imaginary points or merit that we get for doing something good. If we have built up a lot of brownie points, it can sometimes help if we then get ourselves in trouble. I always like to have a lot of brownie points stored up for those occasions.

“keep her powder dry”

To “keep one’s powder dry” means to stay calm and wait before taking any action, but be ready to take action in the future. Apparently, it comes from the days when soldiers used muskets and gun powder. It was necessary to keep the gun powder dry at all times in case the need to do battle suddenly arose.

“got off scot-free”

The expression to “get off scot-free” means to get away with doing something that you shouldn’t have done, without suffering any consequences
(e.g. The man accused of burglary got off scot-free, because the prosecution was found to have falsified evidence, and the case was dismissed.)

“in the dog house”

To be “in the dog house” means to be in trouble with you wife or partner

(e.g. He spent 1 week in the doghouse for coming home drunk.)


Even though this dry air causes cracks in my hands, I still prefer it to a wet winter. Above are some idioms that came to mind, which are related to the word “dry”. I hope there is something new in here for you.

See you next month!

フルーツフルイングリッシュで英語表現の楽しさ感じてください 。初めての方には英作文添削チケット2回分をプレゼント。



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Hello! My name is Simon. I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999. My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.