Publication details

Gender-Related Use of Idioms : An Unexplored Area of Phraseology?



Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Idioms are often presented as being indispensable for every advanced language learner (e.g. McCarthy & O’Dell 2009; McCarthy & O’Dell 2010). Textbooks and dictionaries aimed at EFL learners list a considerable number of idioms together with sentential examples of their use. However, the actual use of an idiom can be very often contextually restricted. One of the factors, which might influence the use of an idiom is gender. Gender-linked usage of idioms in German has been dealt with by Skulikowska (2019). However, there seems to be no similar study concerning English idioms. The analysis is concerned with idioms whose usage, at least at first sight, might be gender-restricted. Examples of such idioms are: apron strings, a knight in shining armour, a baby in arms or throw the baby out with the bathwater. The aim of the analysis is to find out if the use of such idioms is indeed gender-restricted in contemporary English and, in the case of neutral usage, if some meaning shifts are involved. Although more empirical research into gender-linked usage of idioms is required, the need to include this kind of information into corresponding literature seems to be beyond doubt.
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