The following expressions use number words and are commonly used in American English. 1. A four-letter word: This refers to a rude or vulgar word. Example: I heard those boys using four-letter words on the bus.
2. Put two and two together: This means to draw conclusions or begin to understand a situation. Example: I put two and two together and figured out the problem.
3. look out for number one: This means to think about yourself and your well-being. Example: I’m just interested in looking out for number one. 4. The “three Rs": The three Rs refer to teaching the basics in education, which are “reading”, “writing” and “arithmetic”. Example: In today’s world, we are teaching the three-Rs much earlier to students.
5. A five o’clock shadow: This is a saying that refers to when a man hasn’t shaved in a day or so and his beard begins to look dark. Example: Look at the five o’clock shadow on that man; I don’t think he shaved today.
6. A penny for your thoughts: This is what you say when you want to know what someone is thinking about. Example: A penny for your thoughts; You look like you had a bad day.
7. One of a kind: This refers to something unique, only one of something Example: That necklace was hand-made. It’s one of a kind.
8. Six of one, half dozen of the other: This refers to both situations or things are the same. Example: Would you like coffee or tea? It doesn’t matter, six of one, half dozen of the other; they're both the same.
9. Two’s company, three’s a crowd: This means that two people together are good, but three people together can cause problems or be inconvenient. Example: I don’t want to go out for dinner with you and your husband tonight; two’s company, three’s a crowd.
10. On cloud nine: This means very happy. Example: He was on cloud nine when he came home with his new car.
11. A six-pack: A six-pack refers to things that come is a package of six (ex: beer, soda, and water etc.). This can also mean the six abdominal muscles of someone who is in very good shape. Example: Could you pick up a six-pack of beer on your way home? (pkg. of 6 beers) Example: Did you see the 6-pack on that body-builder? (6 abdominal muscles)
12. Six feet under: This is a reference to being dead and buried. People are buried six feet under the ground. Example: They talked about the victims of the hurricane who were six feet under.
13. A nine-to-five job: This refers to a job with regular hours. Example: I wish I had a nine-to-five job; I take work home with me every night.
14. Nine times out of ten: This means most of the time. Example: Nine times out of ten we’ll be able to solve the problem correctly.
15. To feel like a million bucks: This means to feel great and can refer to physically or emotionally. Example: I am over my cold and now I feel like a million bucks.
16. To win by a mile: This means that the person wins by a great deal. Example: When John ran the race, he was so fast he beat everyone by a mile.