Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Word grammar: thick

Type: Article

Tim Bowen delivers these articles thick and fast.

Thick normally functions as an adjective but it can also function as an adverb or a noun.

Apart from its usual meanings relating to dimension and consistency, thick can also be used to describe a person’s accent (in the same way as strong), as in ‘He speaks Spanish fluently but with a thick British accent’.

If a person is described as thick, they are regarded as being rather stupid, as in ‘He’s rich but he’s a bit thick’. It is also used in the expression to get something into your thick head, meaning to start understanding something. This expression is normally used when you are angry with someone and frustrated by their stupidity, as in ‘Why can’t you get it into your thick head that I’m not lending you any money?’

As an adverb, thick is most commonly used to mean a long distance between two opposite sides, edges or surfaces, as in ‘Don’t cut the bread so thick’. If you lay it on thick, you try to persuade someone that something is better, bigger or more important than it really is, as in ‘Saying he’s the best British guitarist ever is laying it on a bit thick’. If things come thick and fast, they arrive frequently and in large numbers, as in ‘Applications for the last few remaining tickets have been coming in thick and fast’.

The thick of something is the most busy, active or dangerous part of a situation, event or activity, as in ‘He always seems to find himself in the thick of the action’. Through thick and thin means in all situations, especially the most difficult ones, as in ‘Despite all his problems, she’s stuck with him through thick and thin’.

If people are as thick as thieves they are spending a lot of time together, usually with the purpose of plotting something bad or naughty, for example, ’the children huddled in the corner, whispering, as thick as thieves.’

Rate this resource

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

You must be signed in to rate.

  • Share

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Powered by Webstructure.NET

Access denied popup