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Basically I'm wondering if there is a concise way to represent the loss of understanding a foreigner would experience if they were to encounter an American idiom for the first time.

An example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjwofYhUJEM

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You got an answer to get you started, but we're really trying to avoid using this site for "single word requests." If you have a particularly interesting problem to solve, all we ask is that you put a bit of effort and research into the question. See: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/1654/… or meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/2160/… –  Robert Cartaino Dec 3 '11 at 2:30
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closed as off topic by Robert Cartaino Dec 3 '11 at 2:30

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As far as the question in the title of your question, I believe the word you are looking for is idiom.

idiom: 5.An expression peculiar to or characteristic of a particular language, especially when the meaning is illogical or separate from the meanings of its component words

(from Wiktionary)

And what the foreigner would experience, your word is likely confusion.

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