For many, summer means a trip to the beach and a chance to get their feet wet. If you talk to an American, however, he or she will tell you that “getting your feet wet” doesn’t necessarily involve water. Americans often use the expression to say they’re trying something new.

Below are five more idiomatic phrases that take their inspiration from the sea:

Plenty of fish in the sea


What it means: There are other people in the world to meet and date.
In conversation: “Tim broke up with you, but there are plenty of fish in the sea!”

A drop in the ocean

What it means: A very small amount compared to what is needed.
In conversation: “I received a $300 loan to start my new business, but that is a drop in the ocean. I’ll need at least $50,000.”

The world is your oyster


What it means: To have opportunities available; to be in a position to take the opportunities that life has to offer.
In conversation: “You just graduated from Harvard at the top of your class. The world is your oyster!”

Like a fish out of water

What it means: To feel uncomfortable by being in an unfamiliar situation.
In conversation: “I went to a conference. I thought it was for website managers, but it was for video game designers. I felt like a fish out of water.”

Make waves


What it means: To cause problems or disturb the way things are at the moment by trying to change the current situation.
In conversation: “The new teacher is making waves at school. He has very unconventional teaching methods that the principal doesn’t like.”

Learn more

ShareAmerica features materials on learning American English. Explore everyday conversations or learn idioms related to money, trees and animals.

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