Figure Name idiom
Source Bullinger (1898) ("idioma; or, idiom"); Kellog (1880) ("idioms")
Earliest Source
Synonyms idioma, idiotismus
Etymology Gr. "a peculiarity" from idios "one's own" and d-i-o-six-mos "the common manner of speaking"
Type None
Linguistic Domain

1. The peculiar usage of Words and Phrases... The word is used in three significations:
(1) The language peculiar to the vulgar, as opposed to what is classical.
(2) The language peculiar to one nation or tribe, as opposed to other languages or dialects.
(3) The language peculiar to any particular author or speaker... We will consider them under the following divisions: giving only a few examples under each by way of illustration:-
I. Idiomatic usage of VERBS.
II. Special idiomatic usage of NOUNS and VERBS
IV. Idiomatic use of PREPOSITIONS.
V. Idiomatic use of NUMERALS.
VI. Idiomatic forms of QUOTATION.
VII. Idiomatic forms of QUESTION.
VIII. Idiomatic PHRASES.
IX. Idioms arising from OTHER Figures of Speech.
X. Changes in usage of WORDS in the Greek Language.
XI. Changes in usage of WORDS in the English language.
(Bullinger, 803-806)

2. IV. THE IDIOMS OF THE LANGUAGE, PROVERBS, AND OTHER APT QUOTATIONS.-Idioms are constructions and expression peculiar to the language containing them. When we speak to the idiom of a language, we mean its general characteristics-the structure. spirit, and genius by which it is known, and by which it is differenced from other languages. But, when we speak of an idiom of it or of its idioms, we mean constructions peculiar to it, and expressions which translated literally into any other language, would not make sense in that language, or would not express that conveyed by the original. These idiomatic expressions, with which every language swarms, are often figurative, and always brief, and pregnant with meaning. In them lies much of the strength of the language, and through them runs its very life-blood. Their use makes discourse fresh, crisp, native, and forcible. (Kellog, 145-6)


1. [ex. from I.] Exod. 8:18 (14). -"And the magicians did so (i.e., attempted to do so) with their enchantments, to bring firth lice, but they could not." (Bullinger, 806)

1. 1 Cor. 7:14. -"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband": each (though one be an unbeliever) is fitted to perform the representative duties as husband and wife. So with the children, "now are they holy": i.e., they were to be no longer reckoned as idolators, but were separated from heathen associations, and ceremonially free from such defilement. (Bullinger, 816)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No