Idiom: “The Writing on the Wall”

The boss became increasingly frustrated with her employee’s laziness. Even though the employee was reprimanded, he ignored the writing on the wall and was soon fired.

Other ways you might hear or read this idiom:
*the handwriting on the wall  <-used as a noun phrase
*The (hand)writing is/was on the wall.  <– used as a complete sentence

So, if you heard or read any version of this idiom, what would you guess that it means?

Let’s think about it.

If you walked into a room to see sentences in big letter on one of the walls…it would be simple for you to read, right?

That gives you a big hint as to the meaning of this idiom. So take a guess! What does it mean?

Photo by Reafon Gates on

If you guessed:

  • something that is clearly going to happen
  • a premonition (meaning = a strong feeling) of something happening
  • something bad or unfortunate is going to happen

Then you guessed right!

Try and use this idiom in conversation this week! Questions or comments? Let me know!

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