A word in your shell-like


      • to tell or inform someone
        To speak to someone directly and inform them of something, often in a serious or important manner. Derived from the imagery of a person's ear resembling a seashell, suggesting a private and confidential communication.

      • to scold or reprimand someone
        To speak to someone sternly and reprimand them for their actions or behavior. Derived from the imagery of the shell-like shape of a person's ear, suggesting a direct and forceful delivery of criticism or reprimand.

    Examples of A word in your shell-like

    • The detective told the witness, "Don't be shell-shocked when I ask you some tough questions. Just remember, a word in your shell-like is all I need."

      This idiom is a playful way of asking someone to listen carefully, as if they are inside a seashell and can hear everything around them. The detective is reassuring the witness that they only need a small piece of information, and that they should pay close attention to what is being said.2. Kick the bucket

    • The old man finally kicked the bucket after a long and fulfilling life.

      This idiom is a somewhat morbid way of saying that someone has died. It comes from the idea of a farm animal being hung by the legs and having its throat slit, causing it to kick its bucket (water trough) before it dies.3. Pull someone's leg

    • My friend was pulling my leg when he told me he had won the lottery.

      This idiom means to tell a lie or make a joke, often with the intention of making someone else laugh. It comes from the idea of physically pulling someone's leg, as if to make them fall over.4. Piece of cake

    • The math exam was a piece of cake compared to the science test.

      This idiom is used to describe something that is easy or straightforward. It comes from the idea of cutting a cake into small, manageable pieces.5. The elephant in the room

    • We all know the elephant in the room is that we need to cut costs, but no one wants to be the one to suggest it.

      This idiom refers to an obvious problem or issue that is being ignored or avoided. It comes from the idea of a large elephant being so big that it is impossible to miss, yet people still choose to ignore it.


    The idiom "a word in your shell-like" is commonly used in British English to mean speaking to someone directly and in a serious manner, often to inform or reprimand them. The phrase is typically used to emphasize the seriousness or importance of the message being conveyed.

    Origin of "A word in your shell-like"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the mid-19th century, with the word "shell" being used to refer to a person's ear. This usage is believed to have originated from the idea that a person's ear resembles a seashell in shape. The phrase "a word in your shell" was then used to mean speaking to someone in a private and confidential manner.

    Over time, the phrase evolved to its current form of "a word in your shell-like," with the addition of the suffix "-like" for emphasis and to create a more playful tone. The idiom has also been influenced by the slang term "shell-like," which means to listen intently or pay attention. This further reinforces the image of a person's ear as a shell-like structure that is used for listening.

    Overall, the idiom "a word in your shell-like" has its origins in the comparison of a person's ear to a seashell and has evolved over time to convey the act of speaking to someone in a direct and serious manner.