Rifle Through These Phrases, and Find Native Ways to Look

Today you’ll learn 5 idioms and slang for searching or looking for stuff in English.

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Idioms and Slang for ‘Search’ of ‘Look for’

Search high and low- look absolutely everywhere

Rifle through- look through something frantically; ransack

Here, ‘rifle’ comes from the old French word for ‘steal’ or ‘plunder’, like you’re frantically searching through stuff to steal something.

Poke around- look for something; look around a place

Turn upside down- make a mess because you’re looking for something

Search me- you have no idea

‘Do you know what this meeting is about?’

‘I don’t know, search me!’

Most moms just know where everything is. I think it’s an innate ability that materializes when you have kids. If you are a mom, or have a wife, or can just remember your own mother, maybe you agree!

For instance, if my son is poking around looking for something, like a toy, he knows he can just ask me because I’ll know exactly where it is.

I think today’s vocabulary is most useful for watching and talking about crime movies!

Comment on this video! What was the last thing you rifled through looking for something, or the last place you poked around?

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Pop Culture R&R

Another great thing we look for is ourselves! You may hear natives say things like ‘searching their heart’ or ‘look inside themselves for an answer’.

My most favorite movie of all time that connects to this is I Heart Huckabees. This is truly a comfort flick for me- I can watch at any given time to feel good.

It came out in 2004, written and directed by David O. Russell. It was an indie at the time, but this director has gone on the make some huge films, like American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook.

It stars Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Naomi Watts and Mark Wahlberg. What a cast!

Schwartzman plays a young man named Albert, who hires existential detectives (Hoffman and Tomlin) to explain the coincidences that happen in his life. It really is about Albert and the other characters looking for the meaning of their lives, and it’s hilarious, heartwarming and surprisingly thought provoking.

Here’s the trailer:

Questions about my life or the English language? Ask me in the comments section below!

Jessica VorsterComment