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I am translating something from Spanish and there is an expression that literally says (about a teacher driving home a single idea by repeating it, but presenting it in many different ways each time) "his skill consists of dressing that idea in a different wrapper each time: e.g. talking about an anecdote from the news, a historical event, etc.", i.e. he is trying to present it to the students in many different ways.

Is there an idiom for this? First I thought 'dress up the idea in many different ways' But Cambridge dict. says "If you dress something up, you add something to it in order to make it seem more interesting or pleasing than it really is:"

That is not what it is trying to say. It just says the teacher has to present the concept in many different ways until the students get it. Is there such an idiom?

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  • I’m sorry to have to point this out and it’s almost impossible that any translation from any language literally says anything much like what you suggest. Would you mind posting both the original Spanish and a literal translation? Oct 13, 2017 at 0:09

3 Answers 3

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He displays an idea from many different angles.

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There is a teaching method which uses Multiple Perspectives

It is a way of teaching which is multi-faceted

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  • Thanks, but I'm looking for an idiom, an expression, not an explanation, as that would change the tone of the text considerably. Like 'there's more than one way to skin a cat', or same shirt, different day' that kind of thing (these two don't quite fit here, but you get my point). Is there such an expression? e.g. dress it in a different gown? I know this doesn't exist, but is there something equivalent?
    – June
    Oct 12, 2017 at 10:26
  • @June I still have it in mind. I'm hoping it will come to me.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 12, 2017 at 10:42
  • @June The word 'kaleidoscope' keeps cropping up.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 12, 2017 at 10:46
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'Driving the point home' IS the closest oft used phrase I'm afraid.

Update: I just found one that is I think the closest to your intent as per your examples above: 'Six ways to Sunday', meaning 'every way possible, thoroughly, or completely.'.
SOurce: languagehumanities.org (via Google ofc).

"For example, 'she studied the subject six ways to Sunday before reaching a conclusion.'"

Maybe you could try something like:
'To drive the point home, he reinforced the idea by attacking it from several angles.'

Though 'attacking it from several different angles' is not necessarily as clear, short or concise as you might want...

The phrase that brought me here like two whole hours ago (I really hyperfocused on this one pointless task! ) Is:
"There's more than one way to skin a cat.".
Which would be difficult to use in your case. Here's some examples where I shoe-horned a couple of oft-used idioms/phrases that would be a closer fit your premise:

  • "The teacher 'skinned the cat in many different ways', 'hammering home the idea' by showing it from 'many different angles' in order to thoroughly convey the main meaning of the concept."

  • "The teacher abided to the idiom 'There's more than one way to skin a cat.' in their teaching style in order to convey the idea at hand."

  • Powerthesaurus.org has a few suggestions as well, nothing very novel but it may help:
    Synonyms for 'In several different ways' from power thesaurus Synonyms for 'In several different ways' from power thesaurus.org

  • And the site thefreedictionary.com has: "have several irons in the fire", which I don't think is very fitting!

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