Metaphors are music to my ears. And puns? Forget about it! I love to playfully slip them into conversations. Reactions usually elicit delighted high-fives or bewilderment.
The good times really get rolling when history enters the picture. That’s why I’m so excited to share gems from a blog featuring 14 Expressions with Crazy Origins that You Would Never Have Guessed.
These idioms are especially fascinating:
• Bite the bullet
Meaning: To accept something difficult or unpleasant
Origin: In the olden days, when doctors were short on anesthesia or time during a battle, they would ask the patient to bite down on a bullet to distract from the pain. The first recorded use of the phrase was in 1891 in The Light that Failed.
• Mad as a hatter
Meaning: To be completely crazy
Origin: No, you didn’t already know this one, because it didn’t originate from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Its origins date from the 17th and 18th centuries – well before Lewis Caroll’s book was published. In 17th century France, poisoning occurred among hat makers who used mercury for the hat felt. The “Mad Hatter Disease” was marked by shyness, irritability and tremors that would make the person appear “mad.”
• Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater
Meaning: Don’t get rid of valuable things along with the unnecessary ones.
Origin: You won’t believe this one! In the early 1500s, people only bathed once a year. Not only that, but they also bathed in the same water without changing it! The adult males would bathe first, then the females, leaving the children and babies to go last. By the time the babies got in, the water was clouded with filth. The poor mothers had to take extra care that their babies were not thrown out with the bathwater.