A lame duck - Idiom of the Week

So a lame duck, an eager beaver, and a cat in pajamas walk into a bar…..

Traveling to Japan – Cultural Cheat Sheet

Planning on visiting Japan? Check this out!

In the doghouse - Idiom of the Week

As defined in Linda and Roger Flavell’s book Dictionary of Idioms and Their Origins, to be “in the doghouse” means “to be in disgrace” (page 102).

My ears are burning - Idiom of the Week

Have you ever been in a situation where you might have been talking about someone (good, bad, or just a simple mention), and then that someone sends you a text, email, or phone call? Well, chances are, that person’s ears were burning!

Eager beaver - Idiom of the Week

As defined in Linda and Roger Flavell’s book Dictionary of Idioms and Their Origins, an “eager beaver” is an overly excited, overly zealous person, who tries to impress people with their diligence and enthusiasm (page 110).

In/Out of your element - Idiom of the Week

As defined in Linda and Roger Flavell’s book Dictionary of Idioms and Their Origins, to be in or out of your element means to be at ease or awkward or unnatural in your environment (page 113).

A bad/good egg - Idiom of the Week

As defined in Linda and Roger Flavell’s book Dictionary of Idioms and Their Origins, a “bad egg” is an idiom that means an untrustworthy person,

Fair and square - Idiom of the Week

In today’s competitive sports environment, everyone has their own opinions on whether or not the victor won fair and square.

To hang by a thread - Idiom of the Week

“To hang on by a thread” is an idiom that means to be in a very uncertain, unstable state. Going one step further, it can mean “unlikely to succeed.”

The bee's knees - Idiom of the Week

Let’s just say that, given the fact that you found your way to Apto’s blog, you’re the cat’s pajamas… the bee’s knees… Are we aging ourselves when we say that?

A Tale of Two Spouses: The Hidden Human Costs of Expatriate Re-location

A Tale of Two Spouses: The Hidden Human Costs of Expatriate Re-location A Response to "Threatened Identities" from the Journal of Global Mobility

To put on your thinking cap - Idiom of the Week

Do you ever hit a mental roadblock, where it feels like the creativity has entirely left your mind...

The final/last straw - Idiom of the Week

Has your patience ever worn thin with a situation and you soon realize that it was the tiniest little incident that finally pushed you over the edge into a mental “crisis” or collapse?

Back to square one - Idiom of the Week

Let’s get back to square one and talk about the origin of this widely used idiom.

To throw one's hat in the ring - Idiom of the Week

Looks like you’re throwing your hat in the ring for the challenge of learning American English idioms! Welcome!

Relocating to Morganton, NC – Relocation Cultural Cheat Sheet

Moving to Morganton, North Carolina? Check this out!

Drop the mic - Idiom of the Week

If someone tells you to “drop the mic,” they don’t mean literally. “Drop the mic” is a figurative expression that emerged from modern American urban slang.

Pop Culture Class: Aren't Manga and Comics the Same Thing?

Aren't manga and comics the same thing? Both deliver their dialogue in speech bubbles. However, many people do not consider them to be the same.

To cut to the chase - Idiom of the Week

We don’t want to waste your time with a lengthy anecdote about this idiom. Let’s cut to the chase…

The cat's pajamas - Idiom of the Week

Let’s just say that, given the fact that you found your way to Apto’s blog, you’re the cat’s pajamas…. Are we aging ourselves when we say that?

To save someone's bacon - Idiom of the Week

A few years ago, I was really in a bind. I was in line at the coffee shop, grabbing a bite to eat before a big job interview I had.

To scratch the surface - Idiom of the Week

Fred Rogers was many things: TV personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and minister... But that's just scratching the surface.

Relocating to Nashville, TN – Relocation Cultural Cheat Sheet

Moving to Nashville, Tennessee? Check this out!

To pull someone's leg - Idiom of the Week

Aw man! You didn’t think I was serious when I said you needed to stay at work late on Friday, did you?! I was just pulling your leg!

Pop Culture Class: Why (Japanese) Anime in America May Be Different

Subtitled anime, TV shows/dramas, and movies are the closest to the native media as international fans can get without understanding Japanese.

Bigger Fish to Fry - Idiom of the Week

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are giving too much attention to the task, situation, or topic that you are currently facing?

The World is Your Oyster - Idiom of the Week

Oxford Dictionary defines this idiom as follows: You are in a position to take the opportunities that life has to offer.

Relocating to New York, NY – Relocation Cultural Cheat Sheet

Relocating to New York, New York? Check this out!

Strike While the Iron is Hot - Idiom of the Week

Pay attention to industry trends so you know the best times to buy, and make sure to “strike while the iron is hot!”

Now We're Cooking (with ___)! - Idiom of the Week

“Now we’re cooking with…gas, grease, heat, fire, Crisco, peanut oil” - you name it. This phrase has many variations, but that’s what makes it so well known!

Relocating to Charlotte, NC – Relocation Cultural Cheat Sheet

Moving to Charlotte, North Carolina? Check this out!

Pop Culture Class: Is Anime the Same in America and Japan?

Is Anime the Same in America and Japan? If you call Spongebob Squarepants an “anime” in the U.S., you may very well get a weird look.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None - Idiom of the Week

Every heard someone say "Jack of all trades"? Who's Jack? And what does he do?

Stomping Ground / Neck of the Woods - Idiom of the Week

How'd you get to our neck of the woods? No worries! We love having you here!

Great Minds Think Alike - Idiom of the Week

In modern conversation, this phrase is generally used in a light-hearted, humorous way when two (or more) people make the same choice or share a similar opinion on something.

Branch Out - Idiom of the Week

Never had authentic Thai, Brazilian, or Japanese food? “Branch out”, and try something new! Some might even say “broaden your horizons.”

6 Ways You Can Learn Through Apto

Through Apto's first person video-based scenarios, you can experience going to the DMV, enrolling your kid in school...

Time Flies - Idiom of the Week

Have you ever noticed how time seems to go faster when you’re doing something you love? Or how if you are waiting for an event that you have been looking forward to, time seems to slow down?

Can't Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear - Idiom of the Week

We've always heard that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but CEO Traci Snowden is learning otherwise in Wilson, Arkansas.

Common Ground - Idiom of the Week

This week’s Idiom of the Week, “common ground” is used to describe something that two people, or groups of people, share in common.

Traveling to China – Cultural Cheat Sheet

Traveling to China? Check this out!

Why Are So Many Addicted To The Expat Lifestyle?

Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Or become accustomed, or even addicted, to the expat lifestyle? We don't blame you, and there are countless reasons why many find living abroad so attractive.

Food for Thought - Idiom of the Week

In a world of endless opinions and points of view, "food for thought" is a great idiom to know.

Break the Ice - Idiom of the Week

The next time you're around new people, be the person to "break the ice" - introduce yourself and start a conversation. you'll probably make new friends!

Back to the Drawing Board - Idiom of the Week

If you've ever been working on a project or classwork, only to have an idea fail or find that your entire plan was unsuccessful, then you know what it's like to have to reevaluate your ideas and start over completely. We call this going "back to the drawing board."

Lost in Translation - Idiom of the Week

Apto is here to help break down any cultural and linguistic barriers, but unfortunately, some things can just be lost in translation.

Hit the Nail on the Head - Idiom of the Week

Clearly "hitting the nail on the head" doesn't mean to actually strike something or someone.

Culture Matters - How Cultural, Community, and Social Progress Drive Employee Quality of Life and Attract FDI

Apto is a community-minded tool that brings people and communities together through cultural and linguistic understanding.

Deer in the Headlights - Idiom of the Week

If you’ve ever had the terrified, panicky feeling like the one described in the above scenario, then you understand the meaning of this week’s Idiom – “deer caught in the headlights."

Apto Perspectives - Intercultural Competence

What is intercultural competence, who has it and how or why (can it be learned), and most importantly, how can HR and Mobility managers identify these elusive creatures to ensure more successful international placements?

Fish out of Water - Idiom of the Week

If you are placed in a situation that is completely new to you and confuses you, you are like a fish out of water.

Train of Thought - Idiom of the Week

This week's idiom of the week is used to describe how we move from one idea to the next in our minds, and how that mental journey can also often be derailed!

Herding Cats - Idiom of the Week

Whether you work for a large company or a small company, on big group project or small, are juggling a school course load, or trying to execute your childrens’ after school schedules, life can feel like you’re herding cats.

On the Same Page- Idiom of the Week

Have you ever heard the host of a meeting say something like, “I called this meeting to ensure we are all on the same page about the…”?

Identify the Right Candidates for International Relocation

While there’s no easy test, there are certainly things that HR Managers can look for when recruiting candidates for international roles...

Take the Bull by the Horns - Idiom of the Week

Of course, when someone says you should "take the bull by the horns," they don't really mean you should join the rodeo and start bull riding...

Why Apto? CEO Traci Snowden Explains...

Growing up in a cross-cultural, bi-lingual family, I remember the magic…and pain…of not quite fitting in.

Think Outside the Box - Idiom of the Week

If you've spent any time in the American corporate world, you've likely heard this week's "idiom of the week."- "Think outside the box"

Protecting Your Investment in Global Mobility

Given the enormity of the investment, why do upwards of 50% of international relocation assignments fail? In a word – culture.

Catch One's Breath - Idiom of the Week

To "catch your breath" can mean you are physically exhausted and trying to breathe OR that you just need to take a break from whatever you are doing.

Hang in There! - Idiom of the Week

Idioms. It's impossible to learn any language without encountering these non-literal uses of vocabulary, but English is particularly plentiful with them.

What is Shodo - and Why I Learned

Shodo is a calligraphy art-form and discipline, which combines all three style of Japanese alphabets, including kanji, hiragana and katakana.