This is one I have just thought about
Living on borrowed time!
We can’t borrow time but when you are living on it you have lived longer than was expected! 🙂
Discussions about the origins of English idioms, expressions or phrases.
Open Loop 29
What does this expression mean?
I've looked it up and it does seem to mean "turn around quickly" - but does it have just that general meaning? Or does it have a specific meaning too, like "change your mind quickly"? I couldn't establish that really.
In a way the meaning is obvious: a jumble, an assortment, a collection of disparate things.
But what is the origin of the phrase 'a mixed bag'?
(I haven't tried an online search. I thought someone might like to share their knowledge!)
Can't tell if this one is a tough one or not. I've heard it many times so I'd say it should be rather easy. Let's see. Will post my answer by 10 AM tomorrow.
BTW, sorry for poor quality of the comics, will try to take better pics next time.
In the MSL group, John F is quoting English idioms and then quoting a foreign version. His latest English idiom is,
Don't cast pearls before swine.
I have never heard this one. Does anyone know what it means or how it originated.
Given I don't know many extraordinary expressions, I'll post more common ones - I have plenty of those.
"Back to square one" - I've always wondered why square one?
In Polish we say "Back to the point of entry" - pretty exact explanation.
Any known origin for this one? Does it have anything to do with root square of two per chance? ;)
If you know an equivalent from any other language please put it in the comment.
Not about Prince Phillip in full flow!
Earlier posts mention "not enough room to swing a cat" and "rubbing salt in the wound".
Isn't this about the cramped space between decks on a man'o'war - the cat of nine tails was used on the open deck for punishment floggings, and salt water was thrown over the back of the victim to prevent infection.
There's loads more, but time to tie a knot in it?
There are two sayings that sometimes get confused or thought of as one but they have distinctly different meanings
Ten to the dozen
Nineteen to the dozen
So how do members see or use these sayings?
According to the Cambridge dictionary:
"to have to deal with a lot of people who are criticizing or attacking you"
I didn't realize doing one's job is like running the gauntlet, but there you go ;)
Do not "give away your spoon" yet (Edited)
There is a German idiom "den Löffel abgeben", literally meaning "to give away the spoon", meaning "to die".
The idiom comes from the fact that until the late middle ages a spoon was a personal tool (especially metal ones) that you carried with you and handed down to your kids like an expensive watch, meaning that you had died.
Does anyone know a similar expression in English? ("to kick the bucket" comes close, I guess)?
It's a "nice" idiom I've actually haven't heard before (again, not a native English speaker).
Usual question - do you use it? Or is it one of those old-fashioned phrases everyone forgot about.
Frequently used by a close [much younger, of course] relative.
Indicating "that's right"....which is shorter and comprehensible...
Can anyone explain why a badger is the bringer of enlightenment please?
Now I say this from time to time but don’t know whether anyone else says it or whether I invented it. Regardless, it’s a very satisfying phrase when someone is being particularly irksome.
To watch several (apparently 2 to 6) episodes of your favourite show in a row.
How often do you binge-watch? There should be a word for watching only half an episode and falling asleep on it.
Teen words and what they mean (Edited)
Here's some that I know thanks to relatives of a certain age. Feel free to add more.
Bare - lots of. There are bare people here.
Mission - a long way. Orpington to Lewisham on the 208 is mission
Phat - good looking. That girls phat.
Blud - mate. You alright, blud
Jam - chillout
Yard - home. Do you want to jam at my yard.
Fam - famly. Spending time with the fam.
My mother-in-law uses this, to say that everything is fine.
'You'll be right as ninepence, dear'
I'd like to know the origins of that - she is the only person I've ever heard saying it.
"make someone laugh very hard"
Do you use this one? I don't think I've ever heard anyone saying it in everyday talk.
Is it supposed to mean that someone made someone else laugh so hard they blew up and they had to stitch them? ;)
The story explains that the meaning of putting someone against the wall means something different to the Swedish to what it means to us.
Thats a can or words or maybe she nearly opened the proverbial Can of Worms.
Yes, so I know it means to gossip or have a chat, etc.
But why chew the fat? Why would anyone chew the fat? What fat? ;)
Something disturbing must have been happening in England when all those weird expressions emerged :P
Let's start with this one. I know a certain gentleman that uses this one a lot, but I don't know anyone besides him ;)
Does anyone of you use that at all? What do you think, what are the origins?
I know this can be looked-up, but that's not the purpose of this group - I'm interested (as a non-native English speaker) of what people think, not actual origins. I reckon it's funnier this way ;)