She is getting her feet wet by taking a few classes

She has done the same job for over a few years and now she has itchy feet and wants a change

February 13, 2023 08:30 am | Updated 08:30 am IST

Know your English

Know your English | Photo Credit: Getty Images

“What took you so long? I saw you getting out of your car about fifteen minutes ago.”

“Ran into your neighbour in the parking lot. He took me for a drive in his new SUV.”

“It’s a really nice car, isn’t it?”

“A wonderful car. But I think I made a mistake by sitting in it. It’s given me itchy feet.”

“You mean to say there were bugs in the new car?”

“No, no! The car is fine. When you say that you have itchy feet, what you’re suggesting is that you wish to travel. Take a trip somewhere.”

“In other words, you have a strong desire to leave the place where you are now?”

“Exactly! You want to go to different places. In my case, drive somewhere. Jayaraman used to get itchy feet every six months. He used to get on some train and go somewhere.”

“The only time I ever have itchy feet is when I drop someone off at the airport.”

“Good example. My father never had itchy feet. He hated to travel.”

“Is the expression used only in the context of travel? Or can it be…”

“The informal expression has other meanings as well. For example, it can be used if you wish to switch jobs — leave one company for another. I’ve been with this company for nearly seven years. So, it’s quite understandable that of late I’ve been having itchy feet.”

“Seven years is a long time. Kids nowadays have itchy feet six months after joining a firm. My cousin who is a software engineer wants to quit her job and become a teacher!”

“That’s a drastic change. What makes her think she’ll enjoy teaching?”

“I have no idea. Right now, she’s planning to do a PhD and…”

“That’s a very lengthy process. Before she does that, why don’t you ask her to teach in some school for a few weeks and see if she likes teaching. Let her get her feet wet before taking the plunge.”

“Get her feet wet? Does it mean doing something gradually?”

“I guess you could say that. When you ask someone to get their feet wet, what you’re suggesting to the individual is that he should start slowly. He should take his time doing things. He needs to become familiar with every aspect of the task, gradually.”

“In other words, don’t be in a rush!”

“Exactly! Ram wants to start his own gym. But he knows nothing about the business. He’s getting his feet wet by spending time at his friend’s gym.”

“My cousins from abroad were scared to drive a stick shift. They spent a few days getting their feet wet. After that, they’ve been driving around everywhere.”

“How can you expect Anjali to take a decision regarding the matter? She joined our company less than a week ago. She’s still getting her feet wet.”

“That’s a very good example. Tell me, why…”

“But what is the origin of this expression. Why is it only the feet that are getting wet? Why not the hands or the head?”

“Before a swimmer jumps into a pool or a lake, what is it that he normally does?”

“He usually puts his feet in the water to see how cold it is.”


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