Blessing in disguise

Blessing in disguise is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common saying blessing in disguise, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A blessing in disguise refers to a misfortune or bad situation that turns out to have some positive aspects to it or turns out to lead to a better situation. For instance, being fired from a job may turn out to be a blessing in disguise if it frees one to find a better job, afterward. The expression a blessing in disguise dates from the mid-1770s and is first found in a hymn written by James Hervey, Since All the Downward Tracts of Time: “Ev’n crosses from His sovereign hand Are blessings in disguise.” Most experts suspect that the idiom a blessing in disguise was in use before this time.


The Saudis have grumbled about the American efforts in this regard, but for Saudi Arabia, these efforts may prove a blessing in disguise. (Tehran Times)

Looking at the position the organization is in at this stage of its rebuild, it is likely a blessing in disguise that the talented wideout turned down a long-term contract offer. (Sports Illustrated)

MATRIC pupils from boys’ schools in Durban, who all received seven distinctions, said yesterday that the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 was a “blessing in disguise”. (The Independent)

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