drop a bombshell or drop a bomb
- make an unexpected, startling or disturbing announcement
- reveal surprising information or news
- My sister dropped a bombshell by announcing she was discontinuing her study for a job.
- Ruth dropped a bombshell when she told us she is pregnant.
- I do not have the courage to drop that kind of bombshell on my family.
- The boss dropped a bombshell, saying my leave application was rejected by the director.
- The Australian Cricket Board dropped a bombshell when they announced that they won’t go to play the series in Pakistan this year.
- Jane dropped a bombshell when she said she was leaving.
This expression, which alludes to the destruction caused by a falling bomb, dates from World War I.
a drop in the ocean
– insignificant amount
– a very small amount compared to the amount needed
– unimportant amount
– a very small proportion of the whole
1. Her cry was only a single drop in the ocean compared to the billions of tears shed by mourners after the war.
2. A hundred thousand may seem a lot but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the millions that need to be spent.
3. I always try to give money to charity but sometimes I feel it is just a drop in the ocean.
4. Our government’s sending a thousand tons of food, but that’s just a drop in the ocean compared to what’s needed.
5. My letter of protest was just a drop in the ocean.
6. I know twenty dollars is just a drop in the ocean, but if everyone gave that much it’d make a big difference.
7. A few thousand pounds is a drop in the ocean when you think about the millions that will be spent on this project.
There is no valid and proper information available about the origin of this Idiom.
It is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too. ‘A drop in the bucket’ is the predecessor of ‘a drop in the ocean’, which means the same thing, and is first found in a piece from The Edinburgh Weekly Journal, July 1802.
drop a line
– send a brief letter
– to call over telephone
– send an email, etc.
– send any kind of moral short letter or note to someone for chit-chat or hello.
1. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare you could always drop her a line.
2. We really do like hearing from you, so drop us a line and let us know how you are.
3. I dropped Aunt Kelly a line last Thanks giving.
4. She usually drops me a few lines around the first of the year.
5. Drop me a note when you get a chance.
6. I hope you’ll drop me a line soon
7. The wife is always dropping her husband a line even as they are separated.
8. If you get a chance, drop me a line when you arrive in Surrey, Canada
9. Could you drop me a line when you get moved in to your new home?.
This idiom uses line in the sense of “a few words in writing,” a usage first recorded in 1647.
at the drop of a hat
- at the slightest signal
- immediately, without delay
- without any hesitation
- without any planning and for no obvious reason
- We now have a situation where laws are bent at the drop of a hat.
- Dustin was always ready to go fishing at the drop of a hat.
- If you need help, just call on Mike. He can come at the drop of a hat.
- I can’t go rushing off to Edinburgh at the drop of a hat.
- She’d purchase her expensive jewelry at the drop of a hat and worry about how she would pay for it later.
- We’re expected to just do it at the drop of a hat – no notice or anything. It’s disgraceful.
- People will file lawsuits at the drop of a hat these days.
- I’d quit my job at the drop of a hat if I didn’t have a family to support.
- That girl is so emotional; she’ll start crying at the drop of a hat.
This phrase probably alludes to signalling the start of a race, fight or other contest by dropping a hat. [Late 1800s]
The earliest reference could be found from a hearing on a bankruptcy law from an 1837 Register of Debates in Congress, see this snap shot below: