Idiom: “to hit
bottom” or “to hit rock bottom”
Meaning: to reach the
lowest or worst point; to reach the
lowest possible level or be in the worst possible situation
Jerry: This has been such a bad year for my company.
Steve: Really? I thought you had a successful business.
Jerry: Well, because we had to close for a month after
damage from the earthquake, our profits hit bottom in May. I guess things can
only get better now.
Steve: You’re right. Profits can only go up after you have
Jerry: Let’s hope so!
Selena: Wow, I had a long talk with Jill last night and she
has really had a difficult life.
Jackie: Really? She seems so successful and happy with her
Selena: She is now, but she was an alcoholic for ten years. Every time she tried to quit, she would start
drinking again. Then, she hit rock bottom. She was homeless and sick. She
finally made the change and now she hasn’t had a drink in over five years.
Jackie: It is sad that she had to go through all those bad
things, but sometimes a person has to hit rock bottom before they can really
make a change for the better.
Selena: Yes, I guess you’re right.
Meaning: “To hit bottom” and “to hit rock bottom” mean to
reach the lowest or worst point or to reach the lowest possible level or be in
the worst possible situation in one’s life. In the first example, Jerry’s
company “hit bottom” because of damage from an earthquake that caused him to
lose money. In the second example, the two people are talking about a woman who
was an alcoholic for many years and couldn’t make a change until her life was
ruined completely, or until she “hit rock bottom.” This idiom can be found in the 2nd edition of
Reading Horizons. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary
classes. For more information, please visit: www.languagesystems.com.