This is a dialogue I recently overheard at a birthday party:
- I’ll go and buy some cigarettes.
- I thought you’ve turned over a new leaf.
- Who told you that? Maybe I said I was going to smoke less.
Clearly, ‘to turn over a new leaf‘ means to start afresh and/or to kick a bad habit.
More examples from the trusted sources:
- Everyone deserves a chance to turn over a new leaf (The Economist).
- Mr da Silva has tried to convince the market sceptics that their fears are unfounded, that he has turned over a new leaf (The Economist).
- Why not turn over a new leaf as the New Year approaches? (BBC)
- The people will never allow the crimes of the former regime to be repeated in any form because they are looking forward to turning over a new leaf where they can learn from their past mistakes (BBC)
Turn over a new leaf in 2010 by eating your fruits and vegetables
More than half of all Americans - 55 percent - want a healthier diet, according to a recent survey. Most of us know we should eat more fruits and vegetables; but most of us aren't. Yet if we did we would lose extra pounds quicker which is a post-holiday goal for many.
Any Plans to Turn Over a New Leaf?
Have you promised to turn over a new leaf , and break some bad habits, or develop some good habits in 2012? You are not alone. Every year millions of people around the world make New Years resolutions to lose weight, start exercising, quit smoking, spend more time with their family, or even study harder.
A New Year's resolution is a promise to yourself to improve your life in some way. You can improve your life by starting something new, by trying harder at something, by cutting down on something, or even quitting something OR you can just keep doing what you are doing now.
When did it start?
The idea of making New Year's resolutions is not a new one. Although historians don't agree on exactly when the concept first began, one theory is that the tradition began in 2,000 BC ( before the Christian era) in Babylon. Apparently the ancient Babylonians celebrated New Year's on March 23, and marked the day by returning something borrowed from neighbours the previous year.
In 154 BCE the Romans decided to be different and declared January 1 the first day of the new year instead of March as before. At this time the Romans began the custom of making new year's resolutions by promising to be good to others.http://learningenglishwithmichelle.blogspot.com/2012/01/any-plans-to-turn-over-new-leaf.html