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22 phrases Americans say that leave foreigners completely stumped

INSIDER Logo By Zoë Miller of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 23:  Whether they're related to food, football, or feline friends, American idioms can be colorful - and confusing to people visiting from abroad. While phrases like "shoot the breeze" (to talk about unimportant things for a long time) and "cold turkey" (to abruptly withdraw from an addictive substance or behavior) have origins in US slang from centuries past, others such as "put up your dukes" (to hold your hands up to prepare for a fight) and "throw under a bus" (to betray someone for your own gain) can be traced across the pond. Here are 22 phrases Americans say that leave foreigners completely stumped.

Whether they're related to food, football, or feline friends, American idioms can be colorful - and confusing to people visiting from abroad.

While phrases like "shoot the breeze" (to talk about unimportant things for a long time) and "cold turkey" (to abruptly withdraw from an addictive substance or behavior) have origins in US slang from centuries past, others such as "put up your dukes" (to hold your hands up to prepare for a fight) and "throw under a bus" (to betray someone for your own gain) can be traced across the pond.

Here are 22 phrases Americans say that leave foreigners completely stumped.

© Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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