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Get up on the wrong side of the bed and wake up on the wrong side of the bed

  • Get up on the wrong side of the bed and wake up on the wrong side of the bed are idioms with ancient roots. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as beat around the bush, ballpark figure, let the cat out of the bag, hit the sack, Achilles heel, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, a dime a dozen, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. 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. We will examine the meaning of the phrases get up on the wrong side of the bed and wake up on the wrong side of the bed, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    To get up on the wrong side of the bed means to start the day in a grumpy mood and remain that way for the entire day. An alternative rendering of the phrase is wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The generally accepted origin of the phrases get up on the wrong side of the bed and wake up on the wrong side of the bed is ancient Rome, where superstition was rampant. Ancient philosophers equated the right side of anything as the positive side, and the left side of anything as the sinister or negative side. The story says that Romans always exited the bed on the right side in order to start the day in contact with positive forces. If one rose on the left side of the bed, he started the day in contact with negative forces. It is interesting to note, however, that the earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary of the idioms get up on the wrong side of the bed and wake up on the wrong side of the bed is from 1801. Related phrases are gets up on the wrong side of the bed, got up on the wrong side of the bed, getting up on the wrong side of the bed, wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, woke up on the wrong side of the bed, waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

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    Examples

    If you regularly get up on the wrong side of the bed, feeling groggy and grumpy, there may be a quick and easy solution to your mood woes. (Country Living Magazine)

    The cause of Matt Beleskey’s upper body injury remains a mystery (“He got up on the wrong side of the bed,” cracked Julien), but he traveled with the team and is a possibility to play in Brooklyn. (The Boston Herald)

    But it might make us both feel better to know that, according to a new study, waking up on the wrong side of the bedis apparently a real thing, not just a turn of phrase or an excuse to avoid small talk in the elevator. (Elite Daily)


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