An idiom can refer to a manner of speaking, to an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up (as in "rained cats and dogs"), or even to a particular artistic style.
The words he uses are the idioms of popular songs and poems in the newspaper.
Christina Baker Kline -- Orphan Train
Yetta, I had come to learn, was deep down a good egg, or, in the other idiom, a balbatisheh lady.
William Styron -- Sophie’s Choice
Between Yiddish and gutter Russian, jumbled through a slur of Brooklynese and slang picked up from rap songs, sometimes Grisha’s idioms didn’t make it into any kind of English I could understand.
Donna Tartt -- The Goldfinch
Bullhead City is a community in the oxymoronic, late-twentieth-century idiom.
Jon Krakauer -- Into the Wild
Qendrim, smaller by a head, handed him the ball and responded with an English idiom he’d only recently picked up from a Justin Timberlake tune.
Warren St. John -- Outcasts United
The idiom apparently didn’t translate.
Dan Brown -- The Da Vinci Code
He understood how to say the grandest things in the most vulgar of idioms.
Victor Hugo -- Les Miserables
Bilibin was now at army headquarters in a diplomatic capacity, and though he wrote in French and used French jests and French idioms, he described the whole campaign with a fearless self-censure and self-derision genuinely Russian.
Leo Tolstoy -- War and Peace
If I did not know the words and idioms necessary to express my thoughts she supplied them, even suggesting conversation when I was unable to keep up my end of the dialogue.
Helen Keller -- Story of My Life
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Anglo-Irish-American provides comparable linguistic and poetic resources, a spectrum of idiom comparably wide.
Homer -- The Odyssey
In the idiom of symbology, there was one symbol that reigned supreme above all others.
Dan Brown -- The Lost Symbol
Wonderful command of the idiom.
Ernest Hemingway -- The Sun Also Rises
His style, described as oral by us in view of its functionality, was an idiom for calling forth figures of old, long celebrated in song.
Homer -- The Iliad
She has learned it well, its idioms, its nuances.
Joy Kogawa -- Obasan
And her English was a mishmash of mixed-up idioms and sayings that showed she was "green behind the ears," as she called it.
Julia Alvarez -- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Our family circle by and by represented Babel in miniature, for scraps and fragments of all these tongues kept buzzing about our ears from morning to night, each sporting his newly acquired word or sentence on every possible occasion, propounding idioms and peculiar expressions like riddles, to puzzle the rest.
Johann Wyss -- The Swiss Family Robinson
Cranly’s speech, unlike that of Davin, had neither rare phrases of Elizabethan English nor quaintly turned versions of Irish idioms.
James Joyce -- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
So saying he skipped around, nimbly considering, frankly at the same time apologetic to get on his companion’s right, a habit of his, by the bye, his right side being, in classical idiom, his tender Achilles.
James Joyce -- Ulysses
I should greatly prefer to employ your excellent English idiom and say that we are all of us here ’for good.’
James Hilton -- Lost Horizon
For the first time in my life, sitting there in the soundproof heart of the UN building between Constantin who could play tennis as well as simultaneously interpret and the Russian girl who knew so many idioms, I felt dreadfully inadequate.
Sylvia Plath -- The Bell Jar
So that there are instances among them of men, who, named with Scripture names—a singularly common fashion on the island—and in childhood naturally imbibing the stately dramatic thee and thou of the Quaker idiom; still, from the audacious, daring, and boundless adventure of their subsequent lives, strangely blend with these unoutgrown peculiarities, a thousand bold dashes of character, not unworthy a Scandinavian sea-king, or a poetical Pagan Roman.
Herman Melville -- Moby Dick
PILKINGS He’s picked up the idiom alright.
Wole Soyinka -- Death and the King’s Horseman
He has an easy quiet way with country people, with the voters and the juries; he can be seen now and then squatting among the overalls on the porches of country stores for a whole summer afternoon, talking to them in their own idiom about nothing at all.
William Faulkner -- Light in August
They spoke in an idiom that I’d never heard before.
Nelson Mandela -- Long Walk to Freedom
They altered the idiom, but they could say whatever they wanted to say quickly; there were none of the babuisms ascribed to them up at the club.
E.M. Forster -- A Passage to India
On another occasion he was rather scandalised at finding his sister with a book of French plays; but as the governess remarked that it was for the purpose of acquiring the French idiom in conversation, he was fain to be content.
William Makepeace Thackeray -- Vanity Fair
In the second, the apartment was his home, and he was lounging on the sofa, laughing uproariously as Charlie, for my benefit, reminisced about those contentious dinner-table lessons in American idioms.
Tracy Kidder -- Strength in What Remains
This was the first time in almost seven years that Zooey had, in the ready-made dramatic idiom, "set foot" in Seymour’s and Buddy’s old room.
J.D. Salinger -- Franny and Zooey
The idioms for revenge are "report a crime" and "report to five families."
Maxine Hong Kingston -- The Woman Warrior
’Your idiom’s as good as your English.’
Robert Ludlum -- The Bourne Supremacy
"But Response was good," Chacko prompted, trying to speak in the same idiom.
Arundhati Roy -- The God of Small Things
Wondering if the comlog had translated the word "sleep" properly or if it might be an idiom or metaphor for "die," I nodded and followed them toward the village at the edge of the Cleft.
Dan Simmons -- Hyperion
This symbolism is not peculiar to dreams, but is characteristic of unconscious ideation, in particular among the people, and it is to be found in folklore, and in popular myths, legends, linguistic idioms, proverbial wisdom and current jokes, to a more complete extent than in dreams.
Joseph Campbell -- The Hero With a Thousand Faces
What image or idiom will make it clearer?
George Orwell -- Politics and the English Language
In the present case—indeed in all cases of secret writing—the first question regards the language of the cipher; for the principles of solution, so far, especially, as the more simple ciphers are concerned, depend upon, and are varied by, the genius of the particular idiom.
Edgar Allan Poe -- The Gold-Bug
As that dialect, however, is but little understood, even by the learned; we shall not only on this, but on all subsequent occasions render such parts as it may be necessary to give closely, into liberal English; preserving, as far as possible, the idiom and peculiarities of the respective speakers, by way of presenting the pictures in the most graphic forms to the minds of the readers.
James Fenimore Cooper -- The Deerslayer
I thought I spoke in epitaph-in the idiom of man.
Eudora Welty -- The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its reality.
Cormac McCarthy -- The Road
"What would you?" he asked of Balthasar, speaking in the idiom of the city.
Lew Wallace -- Ben Hur
Try translating certain French idioms literally into English and you’ll see what I mean.
Robert A. Heinlein -- Glory Road
The idioms, the figures of speech that make language rich and full of the poetry of place and time must go.
John Steinbeck -- Travels with Charley
It’s another idiom entirely.
Christina Garcia -- Dreaming in Cuban
He had repaired it with large patches of French, with words anglicized by a process of his own, and with native idioms literally translated.
Henry James -- The American
"He looks anemic, not just icteric," she managed to say at last, clinging to the idiom of medicine to describe my pallor and jaundice.
Abraham Verghese -- Cutting for Stone
She was drawing up idioms in the list, visions of me in the whitest raw light, instant snapshots of the difficult truths native to our time together.
Chang-rae Lee -- Native Speaker
Away from that intellectual battleground, ordinary Americans can be either gloriously relaxed about their language or, to use the popular idiom, decidedly uptight.
Robert MacNeil and William Crane -- Do You Speak American?
The idiom of the Americans seemed to be the product of new combinations, and bespoke an effort of the understanding of which the Indians of our days would be incapable.
Alexis de Toqueville -- Democracy In America, Volume 1
called powers of the olden guard reel in dismay before our leaping strides and charged-up hustling, freewheeling idiom of high-tech personal accomplishment and betterment of all peoples.
Neal Stephenson -- Snow Crash
The same idiom then comprises a language of the poor and a language of the rich—a language of the citizen and a language of the nobility—a learned language and a vulgar one.
Alexis de Toqueville -- Democracy In America, Volume 2