Queen – Another One Bites the Dust: English Idioms

This famous song by Queen is filled with idioms that native speakers use quite often. Learn these idioms, and you'll be able to understand a lot more when you read or listen to English.

Here are some of the idioms:
to bite the dust
edge of your seat
to stand the heat
on my own two feet

Do you know what they mean? First, let's watch the music video. See if you notice lead singer Freddie Mercury singing them. Maybe you can get the meaning from the context. Below the video are explanations of what the idioms mean.

What do these idioms mean?

"Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?"
"To hang on the edge of your seat" means to be eager and ready for something to happen. You are so excited about it that you can't sit back in your chair in a relaxed way. Instead, you are on the front (or edge) of the seat, barely even sitting.

"Another one bites the dust."
"To bite the dust" means to fail or die. It is very informal and shouldn't be used during serious situations.

"How long can you stand the heat?"
"To stand the heat" means being strong and not having to quit or stop when something gets more difficult and there is more pressure (the heat = difficulty and pressure).

"I'm standing on my own two feet"
"Standing on your own two feet" means that you aren't relying on anyone else to help you. You can do something or survive on your own.

Like most idioms, you don't have to use them. There are simpler ways to explain things. However, when talking to other people, they might use them, so passive knowledge is quite important.

Remember, though, that you can always ask the other person to clarify something. For example, you can say "What do you mean by 'hanging on the edge of your seat'?" if you don't understand it.

Time to Practice!

Now it's time to practice your understanding by answering these questions:

1 - When you were in school, were you often hanging on the edge of your seat when the teacher talked?

2 - Use the phrase "bite the dust" in a sentence.

3 - In high pressure situations can you stand the heat? Tell me about a time when you could or couldn't stand the heat.

4 - When was the first time you really had to stand on your two feet in life?

​Do you have any other questions about the song or video? Any ideas for songs I should teach in the future? Let me know!

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