Meanings Lost in Time

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:

BLACK CATCat 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?

(It’s horrible.)

About garth

I'm an indie author ardently writing fiction and you’ll notice a leaning towards Egypt. The book in the cooker right now is called The River Through. Hatsepsut features strong as an ancient enigma bringing her people back to pure after a sullying occupation by the Hyksos. I like these desert ancestors who dragged great chunks of stone for miles to build runways for god. Religion was a major preoccupation always. Magic was mixed in, sometimes called miracles. Christian and Hebrew testaments carried it over. Egyptians weren’t bothered with a history list based on sequential record keeping so there are numerous and bewildering gaps. A definite plus for the fiction writer. (Colouring in the spaces.) Bio: I am very tall and many people call me a freak (and laugh) so a slight chip on the shoulder but thick skinned - not impervious. Lots of short people out there who aren’t pleased to be little too. Given the choice, I’d keep length. Upbringing I am thankful because, during my life I have found many people who weren't so blessed so thanks mum and dad for pulling me out of the lucky dip. Two sisters and a brother, all of them cleverer than me or so they think. A wife who loves me - thanks Gill xxxx Two daughters, a yoga teacher and a nurse who don't quite hate me but we are moving in that direction as I tread heavier with advice. Lovely grandchildren who will develop into super beings if they maintain the current progress. A cat called Squeezely who has finally learned to evacuate his bowels outside. Buster the darling dog with a sensitive way and an over-exuberance for affection but we all let him take us down for licking. He's big. Occupation: Education first: Good military school that chased out the bad in me I can tell you. No-one put a polish on a boot better but it was enjoyable in retrospect. Not at the time though. Art college next and enlightenment - the world was a better place afterwards. Self employed antique furniture and restoration - very enjoyable and fulfilling but not overflowing financially. We did okay and we prospered.
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8 Responses to Meanings Lost in Time

  1. Colette B says:

    Well I’ve learnt something I didn’t know about a word from my native language 🙂 Thanks Garth. Looking forward to next weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cool! Keep ’em coming 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry I missed this on Monday! I love this kind of thing! I think it’s a great weekly feature, keep it up!

    Like

  4. Anand says:

    Thanks for the laugh. The picture you painted with your explanation of threshold was hilarious! I think this idioms-event has potential 😀

    Like

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