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Related to teaching: Teaching methods
teach (one) a lesson
To convince one to avoid some unwanted behavior in the future through the inflicting of some form of punishment or harm. Can be said of the harm or punishment itself, or the agent inflicting the harm or punishment. After the CEO was found guilty, he was forced to repay $150 million in damages and will spend the next 10 years in jail. If that doesn't teach him a lesson, I don't know what will. A: "The cat scratched Bobby this time when he pulled its tail again." B: "Well, that ought to teach him a lesson." Are you going to mess with my little brother again, or am I going to have to teach you a lesson?
teach (one's) grandmother (how) to suck eggs
To try to teach an older person who is wiser, more experienced, and more worldly than a young person may think. Why are you explaining basic typing to Ethel? Sure, she's 70, but she's been using a computer since before you were born—quit teaching your grandmother to suck eggs! These young hotshots come in and try to prove they know the ropes better than we do, like they're teaching their grandmothers how to suck eggs.
teach an old dog new tricks
To teach some new skill or behavior to someone, especially an older person, who is already firmly set in their ways. Usually used in negative constructions. A: "I really think we should adapt our business practices if we want to keep up with the times." B: "Kid, there's only one way I know how to do things. You can't teach an old dog new tricks." It's great that you want to teach your grandpa how to use a computer, but just be aware that it can be hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
1. In patent law, to criticize, discredit, or discourage a particular combination introduced or established in a later invention or reference, so as to preclude the latter's validity. Reference A clearly states that the placement of the parts within the machine, as detailed and proposed by Reference B, would fundamentally alter the functionality of the machine in a dangerous manner. It is thus our opinion that Reference A teaches away.
2. To teach in a foreign country; to teach abroad. I decided to get my certificate to teach English as a foreign language and spend the next year teaching away.
To teach; to be a teacher in a school. Did you know that Karen teaches school? I thought she was stockbroker. Don't feel so bad. I've taught school for 30 years, and I still run into situations I don't know how to handle.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
teach an old dog new tricks
Change longstanding habits or ways, especially in an old person. For example, His grandmother avoids using the microwave oven-you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This expression, alluding to the difficulty of changing one's ways, was first recorded in 1523 in a book of husbandry, where it was used literally. By 1546 a version of it appeared in John Heywood's proverb collection.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(you can’t) teach an old dog new ˈtricks(saying) (you can’t) make old people change their ideas or ways of working, etc: My grandmother doesn’t want a computer. She says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
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