3 Idioms About Towels
May 25 is Towel Day.
To celebrate, we’d like to share with you three fun English idioms about towels.
#1 Towel off (v)
This means to dry yourself or someone else or something with a towel.
- The swimmer got out of the pool and toweled off.
- I toweled off my wet feet before putting my socks on.
- We washed the car and toweled it off.
#2 Throw in the towel (v)
If you throw in the towel, you stop trying to do something, because you know that you cannot succeed.
- Klara's support, when even her son's trainers wanted to throw in the towel, was essential.
Note: You can also say that someone throws in the sponge, though this is less common.
#3 Crying towel (n)
This is a figurative towel (not an actual towel) used to wipe away someone's tears; this idiom is always used sarcastically to imply that the person's problems or complaints are not real or are exaggerated.
- Oh, you have to pay a bit more in taxes because you're now making$100,000 more per year? Shall I get out a crying towel for you?
- So you didn't make the first team? Get out the crying towel.
It can also mean a person who listens to and/or offers sympathy for someone's troubles, complaints, or grief (it has a negative meaning).
- I'm getting a little tired of being Charlie's crying towel every time he breaks up with some new boyfriend.
Note: This is not a very common idiom.
Do you want to learn more idioms? At the ELI at Pace University in New York City, we have lots of fun elective courses, including IDIOMS.