Did you raise your eyebrows at this headline?
Did the headline turn your head?
Were you so surprised that your heart stopped?
These are three expressions that are should count at tier 2 vocabulary in our system. In upper elementary school, students should know these idiomatic expressions as part of their working vocabulary. I'm about to go look up how the CCSS deals with them.
Moving from surprise to expressions related to difficulty...
Do you think that for ESL students, these expressions are as easy as pie?
If they put their shoulder to the grindstone, can they tough it out and master these expressions?
There's also a big difference between recognizing these expressions and learning to use them gracefully.
English, such as tough language. So many influences, so much vocabulary and then, all these idiomatic figurative expressions many of which come from obscure sports references or archaic expressions.
Making money hand over fist refers to the physical act of stamping metal with the image that makes it an official coin. Literally, the guy doing it had his hand over his fist.
There you are in a business meeting and someone talks about hitting a home run or somebody being the quarterback. Geez, if only I had a coach to help me through this language game or marathon of vocabulary learning...