In this section we will discuss the meaning of different English idioms or slang words that are used by Americans. These idioms are to help people who have learned English as a second language. These expressions may have different meanings besides the literal definition of the words used.
English Idiom: Turn Over a New Leaf
Meaning: To make a fresh start, to begin anew, or to make the changes in order to become a better person.
Story of the Expression: This expression can be confusing, because the word leaf is most often associated with plants. In this instance though, the word leaf is referring to an individual page in a book. So to turn over a new leaf means to turn the page in the book. The thought is that if the page you are on is not good, you can flip to the next page and start over.
Example Sentence: When Michael moved to a new school he decided that it was a good opportunity to turn over a new leaf and start making better grades.
Image Credit: Yellowed Pages From a Dictionary by Horia Varlan via Flickr Creative Commons License.