Clearly “hitting the nail on the head” doesn’t mean to actually strike
something or someone.
When my boss proclaimed that I’d really “hit the nail on the head” with this one, I froze for a second. I shifted my eyes down and to the right, while trying to think of any logical explanation for this comment. When did I do carpentry work? Am I sleep building again? Is there a person named Nail that I could of have possibly injured? What if Nail has already called the police on me? Oh no! What if Nail’s head is permanently damaged! What if Nail has little Nails and a spouse that I have now placed in turmoil over my actions? Maybe he is referring to when I hung that picture in my office. But wait, I hung that picture with 3M sticky tape! What do I say now? I have no idea what he’s talking about, and I haven’t owned a hammer since the 1980s!
Clearly “hitting the nail on the head” doesn’t mean to actually strike something or someone. This week’s idiom, “to hit it the nail on the head,” refers to one of those moments when you understand something without any prior knowledge of it. As an expat in America, you’ve probably had moments when you had not yet encountered a word, or an action, or a custom, but you quickly and instinctively knew what it meant. And, you’ve probably had moments when this didn’t happen. Sometimes we hit the nail on the head, sometimes we don’t. Happily, with Apto as your guide, you’ll be hitting a lot more nails than not!
This week’s definition comes from The Free Dictionary:
Hit the Nail on the Head
to be right about something Mike hit the nail on the head when he said most people can use a computer without knowing how it works.
If you haven’t yet, give Apto a try. You’ll be pleased to discover how quickly you adapt to all the cultural and linguistic differences life in America presents!