Earmark the funds

This entry is part 1 of the series Common Sayings

Most weeks, I’m posting on my blog about a phrase or common saying, what they mean and how they came about.

I’m working through the alphabet and choosing one saying for each letter.

We often use the term to earmark an object. What do we mean, and how did the word come about? read more

Two Common Sayings beginning with B

This entry is part 2 of the series Common Sayings

Each Monday, I’m posting on my blog about a phrase or common saying, what they mean and how they came about Sometimes there will be only one saying, while other times there may be more. I won’t in any way cover all the possibilities as I’d like to complete the series in this lifetime. But it should be fun. Join me?

I intend working through the alphabet, so sign up at the end of the post so you don’t forget to visit me each Monday and perhaps participate by adding suggestions.

So today we look at B.

B is for Bite the Bullet, and Bring Home the Bacon.

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Two Common Sayings beginning with A

This entry is part 3 of the series Common Sayings

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American Words and their meaning

I have recently been impressed by a friend who has emigrated from South Africa and taken up residence in America. He sends out regular newsletters and has started including snippets on the meaning of American words and how they developed.

In the past I’ve had quite a bit published online and in print, about some of the different meanings of words and phrases between the various forms of International English. Not wanting to steal the idea from Eugene, but intrigued by the idea of where words or phrases come from, I’ve decided to research some common phrases—what they mean, and how they came about. read more

Where did these Strange Expressions come from?

This entry is part 4 of the series Common Sayings

Back to Common Phrases!

After a gap, I’m returning to posting each Monday about a strange expression or common saying. We’ll look at what they mean and how they came about. Sometimes there will be only one saying, while other times there may be more. I won’t in any way cover all the possibilities as I’d like to complete the series in this lifetime. But it should be fun. Join me?

I intend working through the alphabet, so sign up at the end of the post so you don’t forget to visit me each Monday and perhaps participate by adding suggestions.

Today we look at G. And we have two common sayings.

Get out of bed on the wrong side is a strange expression!

We have all heard this strange expression. We’ve probably said it.

And oh dear! We may well have been accused of this! I know I have, and with good reason. (I don’t DO early mornings if I can help it!)

When someone is grumpy or bad tempered during the day, we often say he “got out of the wrong side of bed.”

out of bed on the wrong side

Olden Days

This is based on superstition from the olden days. Many people believed that evil spirits lurked on one side of the bed during the night.

If you were unfortunate enough to clamber out of bed on their side, those evil spirits and their influence would inhabit your body for the entire day.

The only solution to this problem was to make sure the next dawn you got out of the correct side! (I don’t think I would have ever gone back to sleep!)

The Romans were well known for their superstition that a left-sided anything was evil, so that may well be from where that expression evolved. (That must have been tough on left-handed soldiers!)

Getting the sack is another strange expression!

Today, this means the person has lost his job, been fired, been dismissed without honor.

This common phrase may well go back to the 17th century, where workers carried the tools of their trade in a large sack. When an employer took them on to do a certain task, he would then hold the worker’s sack which contained the unneeded tools, for safe keeping.

When the man completed his job and was no longer needed, the employer would return the sack to him. There was therefor no disgrace. To be given the sack in those days meant they could carry their sack of tools to their next place of work.

Are there any other strange expressions you can think of that start with G? I can think of a few. How about you? Share them below in a comment.

 

When did you last have a field day?

This entry is part 5 of the series Common Sayings

 

Each Monday, I’m posting on my blog about a phrase or common saying, what they mean and how they came about.

I’m working through the alphabet and choosing one saying for each letter.

Have you ever heard or used the expression, “He’s having a real field day” . . .  or “The kids had a field day when their teacher wasn’t around to keep them quiet?”

That’s what we’re looking at this week. What does it mean to have a Field Day? And where did the expression come from? read more