I think we all have our own favorite phrases those short pieces of advice that still ring true today. Some of these phrases are so time worn we have forgotten where they originated from and some are newcomers.
It got me thinking about phrases, what they mean and where they come from because we use them without thought and they just make sense.
When I heard the expression “Even a fish wouldn’t get caught if he’d keep his mouth shut !” it made me curious as to where the phrase came from. Do you know where?
This short piece of advice comes from a book The Code of Silence that was written by Tim Shoemaker that made one of the top ten books for teens back in 2013. To be honest I’m unsure if this is a phrase I would use all the time, but it was an eye opener to hear the phrase and to learn its meaning.
There are so many everyday phrases that we use and while they may be time-worn, the are still short pieces of advise that are as relevant today as when they were created.
I thought it would be fun to create a list of phrases that we use all the time. I hope you enjoy them and hey if you can think of a favorite phrase please leave them in the comment box below because as they say “What goes around comes around.”
1. Cat Got Your Tongue?
Meaning: Something said when a person is at a loss for words
History: There are two possible sources for this common saying. The first refers to the cat-o’-nine-tails – a whip used by the English Navy for flogging. The whip caused so much pain that the victims were left speechless. The second refers to the practice of cutting out the tongues of liars and blasphemers and feeding them to cats.
source: 25 Common Sayings And Where They Came From
2. An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
This particular phrase was said by Benjamin Franklin.
I think it’s safe to say the w e all agree that it’s better to try to avoid problems in the first place, rather than trying to fix them once they arise. The question is why did Benjimin Franklin feel the need to say this short piece of advice to begin with?
3. Believe only half of what you see and NONE of what you hear!
I know many people have their own interpretations to this saying, for myself I take it as the information you may here is filtered by other people and their opinions and experiences.
Funny enough, some people think that it was Benjamin Franklin who said this but the reality is that Edgar Allan Poe was the author of the saying..but its not an accurate saying…
2) “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.” This quote is indeed an Edgar Allan Poe quote but not as he stated it. Found in his short story “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether,” in the November 1845 issue of Graham’s Magazine, the statement is, “Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” It is surprising the quote needed to be simplified to the form it is in today, when it was already quite simple to begin with. One definitely should pay attention to what Poe is saying. And it is probably best when reading supposed “Poe” quotes, to believe only half of what you see.
4 Put a Sock in It
Okay now we all know that this phrase is used in the context of “BE QUIET” but would it surprise you to know that in the late 19th century gramophones or record players had large horns to amplifiy the sounds.
The machines had no volume controls so an easy way to lower the sound was to stuff a woolen sock inside the horn.
5. Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride
I have to say this is the funniest phrases when you find out how it came about.
For years people have equated this saying to the dating scene, not getting what they want and even people getting close but never getting the recognition they feel they deserve.
To be honest you need to thank Listerine mouth wash for the invention of this phrase lol
“This phrase, surprisingly, was used to sell Listerine mouthwash! To promote their product, the manufacturers of Listerine employed the personal experience of girls at the time, who desperately wanted to settle down but seemed always to be left on the shelf. First used in the 1920’s, it portrays a situation and a possible explanation for the lack of success these girls had. Here is the transcript of the ad:Poor Edna was getting on for thirty and most of her girlfriends were either already married, or about to tie the knot. How she wished that, instead of being their bridesmaid, she could be the bride! However, any romance of hers invariably ended quickly. There was a reason. Unbeknownst to her, she suffered from bad breath and no one would tell her, not ever her closest friends. The advertisement sold millions of bottles of mouthwash and gave the English language a new saying!
I think I could go on for hours on different phrases, their origins and its true they indeed are short pieces of advice that have been and will hopefully continue to be passed down generation to generation.
What is your favorite phrase?
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