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Land of milk and honey

  • Land of milk and honey is an idiom with ancient roots. 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 land of milk and honey, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

     

    Land of milk and honey is an idiom that describes a place of abundance, a place that is replete with resources. The expression land of milk and honey is taken from the Bible. In the book of Exodus, the land of milk and honey describes the Promised Land for the Israelites: “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…”

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    Examples

    Florida, they cooed, was paradise — a land of milk and honey where pandemic-fatigued visitors could do as they pleased with no pesky governor finger-wagging about masks and social distancing and stay-at-home orders. (Miami New Times)

    With the coming of the vaccines there’s hope that we’re coming out this wilderness time and headed for the land of milk and honey, or at least back to “normal.” (Helena Independent Record)

    Two years ago I accompanied a migrant caravan as a journalist, a 2,600-mile journey on foot and taking rides on trucks that started in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and went to the U.S. border at Tijuana, an exodus to the land of milk and honey. (National Catholic Reporters)


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