colloquialism

A saying that expresses something other than the literal meaning of the words it contains is a colloquialism, like saying "I wasn't born yesterday," to mean "you can't fool me."

Colloquialism comes from the Latin word colloquium meaning "conference, conversation," or literally "a speaking together." When you talk, colloquialisms are so common, you might not be aware you are using them — that is, until one comes up that is unfamiliar to someone in the group. Explaining the meaning of a colloquialism shows just how strange or goofy these expressions really are.

Definitions of colloquialism
1

n a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech

Type of:
expression, formulation
the style of expressing yourself

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.