black Canine - depression or sullen mood - an expression particularly previous origins; the cliché was designed renowned in new periods by Britain's WWII chief Sir Winston Churchill referring to his personal depressions. The 1800s version in the expression was 'a black Canine has walked about him/me' to describe getting inside a point out of mental melancholy (Brewer 1870), which dates back again to The parable explained by Horace (Roman poet and satirist, aka Quintus Horatius Flaccus, sixty five-8 BC) wherein the sight of a black dog with pups was an unfortunate omen.
flogging a dead horse/beating a useless horse - attempting to promote the unsaleable, or seeking to conserve a shed result in, or persisting using an argument which has been shed - right here 'flogging' means beating or whipping - Brewer's 1870 slang dictionary cites the British MP Vibrant describing Earl Russell's Reform Monthly bill (1867) as being a 'lifeless horse' and all makes an attempt to make it law like 'flogging the useless horse'. The metaphor alludes to the thought of a lifeless horse becoming incapable of Performing, Regardless how much it is whipped. An before comparable use of the quotation is attributed (Allen's Phrases) to your English spiritual theologian John Wesley (1703-91) in a very letter dated 1770: ".
There exists absolutely a audio-alike Affiliation root: the sound of large rain on Home windows or a tin roof could possibly be cats claws, and howling wind is obviously just like the noise of dogs and wolves. These would certainly even have contributed into the imagery described in the prior paragraph.
egg on your own face - to glance stupid - through the tradition of inadequate stage performers owning eggs thrown at them.
even stevens/even stephens - equivalent actions, reasonable shares, Primarily economic or value - earliest origins and associations are in all probability located in Jonathan Swift's 'Journal To Stella' composed twenty Jan 1748: "Now we're even quoth Stephen, when he gave his wife six blows for a single". A separate And maybe most important contributory root is The reality that 'Steven' or 'Stephen' was English slang for cash from early 1800s, probably from Dutch stiver/stuiver/stuyver, which means some thing of small worth, through the name for your low benefit coin which at 1 time was the smallest monetary unit while in the Cape (presumably South Africa) under the Dutch East India Corporation, equivalent to about an old English penny.
hickory dickory dock - beginning the nursery rhyme (... the mouse ran up the clock, and so on.) - these Unusual words and phrases origins are considered by some (including me getting viewed different resources and indications) to originate from Welsh or Celtic corruption and translation of the quantities 'eight, 9, ten'. I am grateful to some Shugaar for pointing out the website link with Welsh isn't a transparent 1, considering that modern Welsh for '8 nine 10' is 'wyth nau deg', which to the encounter of it bears minimal relation to hickory dickory dock. On the other hand, a Welsh variant of the term with the variety eight is 'wythwyr' whose pronunciation, ('ooithooir' is the best I am able to make clear it) is vaguely comparable to 'hickory'. Obviously 'nau' is far away from 'dickory', but 'deg' is quite close to 'dock'. An Irish variation for 8 is 'ochtar'; ten is 'deich'. French for 8 is 'huit'; 10 is 'dix'. Welsh, Irish, French have Celtic connections, plus some similarity appears to exist in between their words for 8 and hickory, and ten and dock. Admittedly the connections are not at my review here all potent in between dickory and nine, Despite the fact that an interpretation of Celtic (and there are lots of) for 8 9 ten, is 'hovera covera dik', which bears comparison with hickory dickory dock. Guaranteed, none of this is scientific or Solid-iron evidence, however it feels like there is a link between these Welsh and Celtic roots and 'hickory dickory dock', in lieu of it remaining merely created up nonsense, which personally I will not buy.
limbo - condition of unsure stability or staying amongst two cases - present-day use is based on two different meanings which can both have experienced a similar origin: 'limbo' find more info could be the Caribbean discount furniture canning vale dc dance necessitating exceptional balancing techniques, through which the performer regularly passes beneath a horizontal bar lowering in peak each time; the early English which means of 'limbo' was for just a A short lived holding spot, eg involving heaven and hell, or even a squander basket; What's more, it intended 'prison' in Victorian times; initial derivation from Latin 'limbus' meaning 'the edge'.
The revenue slang section has dollars slang and phrase origins and meanings, and English cash historical past.
pardon my French/excuse my French - an apology for utilizing crude language - The term 'French' has prolonged been Employed in the English language to express crudeness, stemming with the rivalry, envy and xenophobia click site which has characterised England's romantic relationship with France plus the French for a lot more than a thousand many years. Illustrations include things like french letter, french kiss, french postcards, along with other sexual references. The expression 'french leave', meaning to take or use a thing and depart with out paying out or giving thanks (depending on the reputed conduct of invading French troopers) had been in use for various hundred decades just before Brewer's reference of your phrase in 1870. All this undoubtedly bolstered and contributed to your 'pardon my french' expression.
Cliches and expressions give us quite a few superb figures of speech and text inside the English language, as they evolve through use and mis-use alike. Several cliches and expressions - and words and phrases - have fascinating and astonishing origins, and many well-liked assumptions about meanings and derivations are mistaken. These cliches, words and expressions origins and derivations illustrate the ever-altering complexity of language and communications, and they are suitable cost-free components for term puzzles or quizzes, and staff-constructing game titles.
A usually ignored reference source For numerous words and phrases and expressions origins - especially for frequent cliches that are not stated in slang and expressions dictionaries - is just to use an ordinary good English dictionary (Oxford English Dictionary or Websters, and so on), that may supply origins for most text and lots of associated phrases (begin to see the 'robust relief' illustration beneath).
bless you/God bless you - customary expression reported to a person soon after sneezing - while there are versions round the concept, the most crucial origin is usually that sneezing was believed in medieval occasions to become affiliated with vulnerability to evil, notably that sneezing expelled a person's soul, Therefore enabling an evil spirit - or especially the Satan - to steal the soul or to enter your body and acquire possession of it. Yet another interpretation (thanks R Styx), and conceivably a perception as soon as held by some, is sneezing expelled evil spirits from a person's physique.
e-book - bound papers for reading through - etymologists and dictionaries recommend this extremely old term likely derives from Germanic language referring into the beech tree, on whose wood historic writings have been carved, prior to textbooks were designed.
bandbox/away from a bandbox/fresh new out of a bandbox - smart (of appearance) - This is certainly an aged English expression whose origins date back again for the mid-1600s, whenever a bandbox was a box where neckbands were kept. Later the use of bandbox was prolonged to equate to your hatbox, Hence the indicating with the phrase alludes to anyone's appearance, In particular their clothing, getting as good as a new hat new from a hatbox. In Newer moments, as has a tendency to be with the evolution of slang, the total expression continues to be shortened simply just to 'bandbox'. Within the US bandbox is outdated slang (late 1600s, by towards the early 1930s) for this website a rustic workhouse or neighborhood jail, which, In line with Cassells also referred later on (1940s-50s) to the prison from which escape is a snap. These US slang meanings are according to allusion to the tiny instead of especially sturdy confines of a cardboard hatbox. I'm On top of that knowledgeable (thanks V Smith) that bandbox also refers to a small ballpark stadium with shorter boundaries enabling comparatively uncomplicated home operates to be struck in baseball online games. Ebbets Industry in New York, one-time home of Brooklyn Dodgers, was an example. The bandbox expression in baseball seemingly gave increase to your Idea of band's box in a little theatre, which may very well be either an extra or substitute root in the expression when it's Utilized in the baseball stadium context. Really individually I'm knowledgeable (many thanks I Sandon) that 'bandboxing' is a specific term within the air targeted traffic Manage marketplace: ".