Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee is an idiom that continues to grow in popularity. We will examine the meaning of the idiom wake up and smell the coffee, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Wake up and smell the coffee is an admonition to face the truth, to pay attention to what is going on around one, to accept reality. The idiom wake up and smell the coffee is primarily an American expression and was in use in limited areas or as a colloquial use as early as the 1940s, but it was popularized in the 1960s and 1970s by Ann Landers. Ann Landers was an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times whose writing was eventually syndicated throughout the United States. The phrase wake up and smell the coffee has continued to be a popular idiom.

Examples

Rosie, wake up and smell the coffee, because digital is the wave of the future for newspapers! (The Toronto Star)

“I’ve sent the same message to district colleagues to say we’ve got to wake up and smell the coffee – because if we don’t, we’re going to fall further behind,” County Cllr Ali said, praising the county’s “incredible talent”. (The Chorley Guardian)

Put in those terms, your CFO should finally wake up and smell the coffee. (USA Today)

Want to have more idioms in your arsenal? Check out some others we covered:

Help Us Improve!

Help Us Improve!

- Did we make a mistake?
- Do you have feedback or suggestions on how we can improve?

press Enter

Use Shift+Tab to go back