Idiom: To be a joke
Jack: Last night I took my girlfriend to see that new action movie starring Sylvester Stallone.
Tony: How was it?
Jack: It was a joke! The acting was so bad. And the side effects were kind of stupid too.
Tony: Yeah, I heard the reviews weren’t that good.
Christine: Tonight I’m going to attend that public meeting at city hall. They’re going to vote on the new law that will ban fireworks within the city limits.
Bonnie: Really? Good luck! I stopped attending those meetings because they’re always a joke! The city government never listens to the people and it seems like no progress is ever made at those meetings.
Meaning: “to be a joke” is a common idiom in American English that is used to express the idea that something is dumb, boring, or not worthwhile. It is always used in a negative way, with a little mix of sarcasm too. Practical idioms like this are taught in the Listening and Speaking classes at Language Systems International. For more information please visit www.languagesystems.com