Stay cool with these summer phrases


It’s summer in the United States, and for many that means finding ways to stay cool in the heat. For others, it’s a chance to get outdoors and away from routine.

If you talk to an American, it probably won’t be long before he or she uses one of these expressions to describe his or her summer activities.

Catch some rays


What it means: To sit or lie outside in the sun; to sunbathe.
In conversation: “Yesterday, I lay on the beach and caught some rays.”

(Travel) on a shoestring

What it means: (To travel) with a very small amount of money.
In conversation: “Mike is trying to save money, so he’s traveling on a shoestring this summer.”

Dog days of summer


What it means: The hottest days of summer; the hottest time of year.
In conversation: “It has been at least 100 degrees every day this week. The dog days of summer are here!”

Off the beaten path

What it means: A place where few people go; a place that is not frequently visited and is not well-known.
In conversation: “When traveling, Anita loves to go to places that are off the beaten path. She thinks they’re more interesting than typical tourist attractions.”

Beat the heat


What it means: To avoid the heat of summer; to make oneself cooler or go to a place to stay cool, especially during hot days in summer.
In conversation: “It’s always air-conditioned in the mall, so let’s go there today to beat the heat.”

Soak up the (some) sun

What it means: To enjoy the sun; to sit outside in the sun.
In conversation: “Let’s go to the park and soak up some sun while the weather is nice.”

Learn more

ShareAmerica features materials on learning American English. Explore everyday conversations or learn idioms related to soccer, the ocean and money.

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