This month we have five pairs of idiomatic expressions – and, to make it interesting, they are pairs of opposites:

1. MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT = Very often, frequently. My sister complains that her husband talks about sports morning, noon and night.
2. ONCE IN A BLUE MOON = Almost never, very rarely. During most of the year in Southern California, it only rains once in a blue moon.

3. TO RUN OFF AT THE MOUTH = Talk too much. You’ll be sorry if you ask Rene about politics – she really runs off at the mouth on that subject!
4. TO CLAM UP = To refuse to talk at all. When the police asked him if he had stolen the car, he just clammed up and stared at the table. (Note: I suggest you look up “clam” in your dictionary – it’s a kind of marine animal and you’ll understand why it is used in this expression!)

5. TO BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL: To stay awake all night working or studying. He’s got an important report due tomorrow, so I guess he’ll be burning the midnight oil tonight.
6. TO HIT THE HAY = TO GO TO BED: To go to bed. I’m too tired to go to the movies; I think I’ll just hit the hay instead. (Note: Think about the use of oil and hay in these expressions. Do you think they originated a long or a short time ago?)