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Today we are going to talk about a very small, sharp and useful object: a pin. We use pins when we sew clothes. We also use pins in some art projects. And we use pins to attach things to our clothing. The sharp point easily goes right through most kinds of cloth.

And pin gives us our expression for today: To pin your hopes on something.

If you pin your hopes on something, you hope very much that it will help you succeed. You attach your hopes to it. When we pin our hopes on something, we really want it to happen.

It can also mean to have expectations connected to the success or performance of a person or thing.

For example, a friend of mine really wanted to attend a well-known college. But the tuition cost a lot and she did not have much money. So, she pinned her hopes on winning a scholarship.

When the scholarship fell through, she was pretty upset. On the same day, she got more bad news. A very old and very distant uncle had died. It was sad news, but there was a silver lining. You might ask, “What good could come from that?” Well, this uncle left her a lot of money.

Some word experts say the expression dates from the 1500s. It may have come from soldiers pinning their leader's insignia on their sleeves. This showed where they belonged and who they supported. By the 1800s, however, it took on its current meaning.

Here is an example. Listen to these two friends talk about saving money for the future.

So, how much money have you saved so far. You know, for your retirement?
None. But I play the lottery every day!
I don’t think it’s a good life plan to pin all your hopes on winning the lottery.

You’re right. I should have a Plan B. I know I will get on a game show and win a lot of money!
I think you should talk to an expert.
There are game show experts??

No. I mean a financial planner.
Oh. THAT kind of expert.

Yeah, it is not a good idea to pin your financial hopes on a lottery. And in life it is probably not a good idea to pin all your hopes and dreams on other people. Instead, pin your hopes on you and what you can do to make things better.