pronunciation classes for lawyers accent reduction center and pronunciation pro accent reduction courses onlineLearning how to be successful in the legal field is challenging, but even more so for non-native English speakers. When studying to be a paralegal, lawyer or court transcriptionist, taking English pronunciation courses should be just as much of a priority as any other legal or university class you’re taking. Beyond teaching English pronunciation, learning under a Speech Pathologist can allow you to become familiar with English idioms. Used frequently, English idioms allow a speaker to get a point across using words that have a separate meaning from the literal meaning. Idioms can be quite useful in court conversations, but also harmful for non-native speakers who may not understand the idiom used.

For students progressing towards a career in the legal field, here are 10 American idioms that will be common in the courtroom.

(To add) Fuel to the fire: To make a bad problem even worse

Used in a sentence:

“After mocking our client, the suspect added fuel to the fire by allegedly vandalizing his car.”

Crocodile tears: Pretending to cry in an attempt to manipulate or exploit

Used in a sentence:

“OJ Simpson gave his testimony through crocodile tears to come off as innocent.”

Face the music: To accept the less-than pleasant truth or consequences.

Used in a sentence:

“It’s time to face the music and plead guilty for what you’ve done.”

(To be) Fishy: Suspicious of a story or event

Used in a sentence:

“I knew when the door was open after I had previously locked it, that something fishy was going on.”

Spill the beans: To give away a secret or surprise

Used in a sentence:

“The suspect thought he was going to get off the hook for lack of evidence, but a new witness is about to spill the beans and place the suspect at the scene of the crime.”

Red handed: To get caught in the act

Used in a sentence:

“The suspect was caught red handed trying to break into a neighbors house.”

End of the rope: To be at the limit of patience or endurance

Used in a sentence:

“I had lost my job, lost my girlfriend, and when he started bullying me, I was at the end of my rope.”

Uncle Sam: A reference for the government of the United States

Used in a sentence:

“Did you think you could fool Uncle Sam by not paying your taxes?”

A picture is worth a thousand words: A way of stating that a picture says things better and with more proof than words could.

Used in a sentence:

“You said that you weren’t at the scene of the crime, but a security camera clearly shows you by the vandalized trashcan with spray paint in your hand. This picture is worth a thousand words.”

Wrong side of the tracks: To live in a poor or undesirable neighborhood.

Used in a sentence:

“The suspect was bound to join a gang at some point, having grown up on the wrong side of the tracks.”

While these ten are important, there are hundreds of idioms that can be used in a courtroom at any point. For legal professionals especially, it’s important to understand what’s said in the courtroom and learning idioms is necessary. Working with a speech pathologist allows non-native English speakers the ability to become well rounded in courtroom jargon, which in turn can help make legal professionals more confident and prepared.

If you want to become more familiar with English idioms, sign up with the Accent Reduction Center to become acquainted with the program and see how Accent Reduction Center is a good fit for you. Available online 24/7, non-native English speakers can learn American idioms through worksheets, mp3 files and even personal assistance during a private lesson. Sign up today for an accent reduction assessment for certified accent trainers to find your areas of improvement and begin a path towards a better understanding of idioms and more confidence in the courtroom!