Tim Bowen hits the nail on the head with his latest collection of Your English idioms.

‘Republican and democrat presidential candidates have hit the campaign trail in recent weeks, although the election is over a year away.’ This means they have started their election campaign. 

If you hit the road, you start a journey but if you hit the town, you go to the town or city centre, usually to go shopping. If something hits the shops, it is available to buy for the first time, as in ‘As soon as the latest model hit the shops, people began queueing to buy one’. 

If two people hit it off, they get on very well together when they meet each other for the first time, as in ‘I liked his sister but I didn’t really hit it off with his younger brother’. 

If you hit the nail on the head, you say something that is exactly right or very true, but if you hit the roof, you suddenly become very angry as in ‘I hit the roof when he told me he’d damaged the car’. 

If something hits the spot, it is exactly what you want or need, as in ‘A nice glass of cold lemonade would really hit the spot on a day like this’. 

Sometimes, people find themselves in difficult or pressurised situations and this may cause them to hit the bottle (start drinking heavily), as in ‘He went downhill quickly after losing his job and it wasn’t long before he hit the bottle’. 

If something hits home, people begin to understand or accept it, as in ‘What he said didn’t really hit home until the next day’, and if you didn’t know what hit you, you were really shocked or surprised by a particular event.