The word “idiot” comes from the Greek idiōtēs, meaning someone who is mentally deficient or not intelligent. Idioms are phrases that are always said rather than written, and they often derive their meanings from our country’s culture and history. For example, the phrase “kicked the bucket” means one has died due to illness or old age. Seeing writing on the wall , likewise, means we have a good idea that something is coming, or that someone is already aware of it.
7 Secrets That Experts Of Idioms Want You To Know :
1. Idioms have been around for hundreds of years, and the origins of some do not seem to make sense.
A time bomb, for example, is not an actual bomb that explodes after a certain number of hours. The phrase comes from a type of oak apple which grew in trees in the southern United States. Some types of these acorns contain toxins and when livestock eat them they become ill or die within 24 hours. It was called a “time bomb” because when farmers found their livestock ill after eating the acorns they would take caution and remove the tree before it harmed more animals or people.
2. Idioms come from everywhere.
The phrase “as the crow flies” comes from the American geographical term “crow flight”, which means a journey that is a straight line between the two points. The phrase comes from the way crows fly and is used to describe travel without going in any particular direction.
People who use this phrase often cite their preference for traveling in straight lines rather than following multiple paths or taking long routes to get where they are going, since it saves them time and effort. Additionally, it tells us that most of us think about travel using a direct line between two points rather than taking multiple paths to get somewhere.
3. “Stop and smell the roses” has no direct connection to roses.
Elizabethan poet William Shakespeare once used the phrase “stop, look, and listen” as a metaphor for paying attention to what is around you. It immediately became popular among people who liked it as a way to relax after a long day of work or school, but there was no reason for us to use this idiom in modern times.
In fact, some people have argued that it was originally written as “smell the roses,” since roses have been known for their scent since ancient Greece. We are still using this phrase because it is an effective way of saying that we should pay attention to the beauty all around us in our daily lives.
4. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing” does not actually have anything to do with wolves.
The phrase is thought to derive from stories about people who would disguise themselves as shepherds and go out into the fields to steal valuable sheep. The term “wolf in sheep’s clothing” means someone who appears benevolent, but is actually harmful or evil. These people are often referred to as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” because of the way they prey upon others by disguising themselves as an ally. It has no ties to wolves or other canines, but it is a useful phrase that describes a type of person.
5. There are many phrases that are used every day despite their origins being unclear or unknown.
“Ain’t got no strings on me” is a phrase that has been used since the mid-19th century. When we say something is “not got no strings on it”, we are saying that someone or something does not have any restrictions or limitations applied to it. It is clear that this idiom was originally meant to be a response to something, but the exact meaning is still debated.
6. Words and phrases have different meanings when they are spoken in a particular language and when they are translated into another language.
“I’ll be there with bells on” is an idiom that we use when we are planning to attend an event and plan to arrive early. The phrase derived from the 1800s, and it was also used as a term for a person who was in a good mood or excitedly anticipating something. This phrase is included in some countries’ dictionaries, but the meaning of this phrase varies based on how it is translated into other languages. For example, the phrase is sometimes translated into Spanish as having “no jingle”, which means one cannot afford any jewelry.
7. It’s possible that someone has invented an idiom that you haven’t heard before.
There are many ideas about what was actually the first ever idiom. A popular suggestion is the phrase “по вечерам” which translates to “from evening”. It means that something is occurring at night and it sounds appealing to us. The actual meaning of this phrase may not be known, but we often use it when we want to convey that something started at a certain time, or that it is supposed to end at a certain time.
Some of these idioms are actually newer words and phrases (such as “time bomb”) while others are phrases that can be traced back centuries (such as “kicked the bucket”).