Kodak moment

Kodak moment is an idiom that has been in use since the latter half of the twentieth century. 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 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 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 is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, in the same boat, bite the bullet, 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, as 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. We will examine the meaning of the idiom Kodak moment, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

A Kodak moment is a moment in time that is so precious because of its sentimental value or its beauty, one wishes to preserve it on film. For instance, a baby’s first steps may be considered a Kodak moment. A couple’s first dance at a wedding may be considered a Kodak moment. However, the view of the sweeping vista of the Grand Canyon may also be considered a Kodak moment, or the budding of a beautiful flower. The expression Kodak moment came from a popular advertising campaign for the American Kodak cameras in the latter half of the twentieth century, produced by Eastman Kodak. Kodak cameras such as the Brownie and Instamatic cameras were reasonably priced and easy to use, so even the most inexperienced or busy people could operate them. Digital photography and phone cameras led to the demise of the once ubiquitous home Kodak camera, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Today, Kodak focuses on business imaging. Note that the word Kodak is capitalized in the idiom Kodak moment, because it is a proper name. The plural form is Kodak moments.


The eruption as the buzzer sounded set off a Kodak moment as coaches, managers and players engulfed each other in a bench-clearing hug, broad grins mixed with tears. (The Daily Astorian)

Among the early print-ad headlines was “This Kodak moment can’t wait for Dad to get home,” which didn’t really speak to me since I had two working parents. (Forbes Magazine)

“The boss said ‘now that’s a Kodak moment’. I said, I’m on it,” Ms Griffiths said. (Queensland Country Life)

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