Idioms and Sayings
This is a pilot for a weekly feature on the above as an interesting aspect of the English language. English is the standard means of expression here but lots of bloggers are dealing with a second language so it might not have an international appeal. Some of my sayings were minted a long time ago in English history.
Not this one though:
Cat got your tongue? Origin: More than 5000 years ago and it’s creepy. This is an idiom used today (in the British Isles anyway) when someone goes silent when confronted with a question that catches them out and they look speechless.
Is this saying familiar in India, Africa, Russia, USA? Unlikely, so this weekly feature might not work. It could increase the depth of understanding of the international bloggers (as if you haven’t got enough on your plate already!)
We’ll see but it might be more interesting if I get sayings from other parts of the world too.
Here’s another one:
You probably have an understanding of threshold as the footstep between the inside and outside of an abode but why is it so called?
English: Celtic period (I think). To do with straw spread on a floor (of dirt) in an early hut. Re-carpeted every week as a household chore but liable to blow away when the hunters got back in a force 8 gale and threw the door open. The family by the fire eating their dinner, suddenly covered in the stuff.
Most days it was just blown back from the doorway, the most important place for it to stay because of all the wet feet coming in.
The word for straw was thresh and something had to be done to hold it back. Skilful fingers clipped it straight and bound it with mud in a tidy strip to start with, developing into a plank of wood holding it down under the door – the thresh hold.
Do you find this interesting? I know I do and there are lots more if you want them on a weekly diet of one at a time.
Meanings Lost in Time Day – Friday.
Next week: All the gory details on Cat got your tongue?