Why Do We Say That?

Why Do We Say That?

Have you ever wondered why people say some of the phrases or idioms they use? (How many of you haven’t used the word idiom since high school?) I just saw a headline that said Cindy Crawford’s daughter looks like the spitting image of her. I’ve played a lot of baseball and softball in my life. In case you didn’t know, there’s a lot of spitting in baseball. I can’t for the life of me ever remember spitting on the floor of a dugout and thinking, “that looks exactly like a supermodel. And her daughter!”

Why do we say “sleep like a baby.” I don’t want to sleep like a baby. Babies wake up every hour with a bag of their own urine (or worse) strapped around the crotch! Who wants that!

One of my other favs is “an axe to grind.” I can’t recall anyone I’ve ever met, grinding an axe. I can’t recall any conversation with anyone that involved actually grinding an axe. In fact, I would say you have a better chance meeting someone who has survived ebola than meeting someone who has actually ground an axe.

People in show business say “break a leg.” How many phrases do you think they went through before they settled on leg breaking. Did they start with, “rupture a spleen?” “Have explosive diarrhea?” “Get the mumps?”

Cry over spilt milk? Was there a lot of weeping over wasted dairy products back in the day? There seem to be a lot of farming related idioms. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket? Of course you can count your eggs whey you put them in the basket, but please refer to them as pre-chickens before they hatch.

And finally, we have “dropping like flies.” I can’t recall ever seeing a fly drop. I’ve seen the fly and land on food and generally annoy me. But never drop. I have seen bird poop drop however. Time for a new idiom.

Carry on, Citizens!

 

photo credit: IngaMun via photopin cc

by Jeff

Jeff Stanger is an author and fundraising consultant as well as the answer to several obscure trivia questions. He writes for food and occasionally for spite. Google+

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