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Green thumb and green fingers

Green thumb and green fingers have been in use for an indeterminate amount of time, though the popularity of these two idioms peaked in the mid-1900s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the expressions green thumb and green … [Read more...]

Save something for a rainy day

To save something for a rainy day is an idiom that may be traced back to the 1500s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the phrase to save something for a rainy day, where it came from and some examples of its use in … [Read more...]

Navel-gazing

The term navel-gazing came into use in the mid-twentieth century, though the practice that this idiom is based on stretches much farther back in time. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the definition of the term navel-gazing, where it … [Read more...]

Fodder vs father

Fodder and father are two words that are close in pronunciation, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Especially with certain local accents, the two are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of fodder and father, where these words came from as well as some examples of their use in sentences. The literal meaning of the word fodder is food for livestock. Animals are programmed to forage, and many farmers and ranchers allow their livestock to graze grass in the … [Read more...]

Building castles in the air

The expression building castles in the air is an altered version of a French idiom, though it may be linked to a a metaphor put forth by St. Augustine. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the definition of the phrase building castles in the … [Read more...]

To harp on

The phrase to harp on is an abbreviation of a longer idiom that was once popular. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the definition of the phrasal verb to harp on, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To harp on … [Read more...]

Speak with a forked tongue

The phrase speak with a forked tongue is considered to be an American idiom, but it is older than that. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the definition of the phrase speak with a forked tongue, where it probably came from and some … [Read more...]

Dry goods

Though the term dry goods is used in both British and American English, the meaning differs slightly between the two types of English. We will examine both of the definitions of the term dry goods, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. In British English, the term dry goods is used to mean food that is not wet, or has been dried in order to preserve it. Before refrigeration, dry goods were a safe way to deliver food staples to the public. Dry goods, in this sense, may … [Read more...]

No ifs, ands, or buts

The expression no ifs, ands or buts is one that is older than you may think. The roots of this phrase go back to the 1500s. We will examine the meaning of the term no ifs, ands or buts, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. No ifs, ands, or buts is a phrase that is often used when expressing that one is certain of something. For instance, if one is confident that he will accomplish a task, he may end that reassurance with the phrase no ifs, ands or buts. The expression … [Read more...]

Keep an ear to the ground

Keep an ear to the ground is an idiom that came into use in the 1800s, though there was a rise in usage during the mid-twentieth century for a very interesting reason. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the phrase keep an … [Read more...]

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