- Two’s company; three’s a crowd
- Take five
- At sixes and sevens
- Seventh heaven
- On cloud nine
- The eleventh hour
Catch-22, what the F**k does that mean?
When you see or hear this common English expression, you may well be asking yourself the same question:
What the F*** does that mean?
- I can’t start my own business until I find the money, but I can’t get the money until I start the business. Shit, this is a real Catch-22 situation.
- Working parents of young children are in a Catch-22 situation because child-care centres are closed during the Coronavirus crisis.
- This is a really Catch-22 question you’re asking me. It won’t make any difference to you whether I answer yes or no.
Catch-22 is the title of a novel by Joseph Heller (1961) in which the protagonist pretends to be insane in order to avoid being sent to participate in dangerous combat missions. However, the fact that he doesn’t want to go to war is considered to be proof of his sanity.
Other common English expressions from books
Catch-22 isn’t the only expression that comes from a book. Others include:
Go down the rabbit hole
This means that a situation is getting out of control and you’re about to «go down the rabbit hole». It originates from Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
In Dr. Seuss’s book If I Ran the Zoo, ‘nerd‘ is used to describe a creature from «Ka-Troo land»
Cyberspace was first seen in the book Neuromancer by William Gibson. It refers to a VR data space in which the protagonist finds himself.
To finish off, here’s a short video with so you’ll be able to remember this expression better!
Catch-22 – You’ve put me in an impossible situation!
Be sure to use Catch-22 next time you feel that way, and you’ll sound more natural in English conversation.