Major English Expressions

Major English Expressions

Most times we use English expressions, phrases and idioms in our daily conversations, we have gotten so used to these words that most people cannot do without it, here are some of the expressions and their origins:

1.  Letting the cat out of the bag:This phrase means to reveal secret or hidden facts. The origin is traced to pig farmers market in England centuries ago, where a dubious seller might put a cat in place of a pig and you won’t be aware until you get home and let the cat out of the bag.
2.  Beating around the bush:This means talking around a subject matter without coming to the point. This phrase had its origin from hunting. In the middle ages specifically in the 1400s or 1500s during hunting for birds, hunters normally hire “beaters” whose duty was to beat around bushes to cause birds or other animals beneath to run out so that they could be hunted. In case of boar hunting, it is safer to beat around the bush to avoid attack, or whack a nest of bees which will bring the hunting to halt.

3.  BORN WITH SILVER SPOON: This popular expression when used illustrates that one is born into a wealthy family or is to inherit a large wealth. Mediaval spoons were usually made of wood. It become a tradition in many countries for well to do godparents  to give a silver spoon to their godchildren at christening ceremonies. This is attributed to be the source of the phrase.

4.  STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH: This when used by a person means that the information is authentic, reliable and edible. The horses teeth tells you the horses age and health of the horse. A smart horse trader or buyer could get all the information he needed from the horses mouth. That is directly without the “truth” from anyone else.

5.  TO FOLLOW SUIT: The meaning of this phrase is to do something as somebody else. The origin comes from card games where if someone plays a card, then you have to play another card that’s the same suit.

6.  BEAR WITH ME: Bear with me simply means someone is asking for furtherance or patience. The “bear” in the word is an old verb “to carry” you are asking someone to carry a burden with you, until you both get to the destination.
7.  SCOT FREE: Means to be completely free from harm, restraint or punishment. Scot is a Scandinavian word for tax and it migrated to Britain and mutated into “Scot”. No one likes paying tax and people have been getting scot free since at least the 11th century.

8.  SCAPE GOAT: This term refers to someone who is punished for the deeds of others. A scapegoat was originally a goat driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement in Judaism. The idea was that the goat, having the sins if the people placed upon its back, would be sent out to perish, thus saving the people by its death. Read the book of Leviticus 16:6 in the holy bible.

9.  THROW IN THE TOWEL: This simply means to quit to avoid further suffering or difficulties. The expression drives from boxing. When a boxer is suffering a beating and his corner want to stop the fight they literally throw in the towel to indicate their conceding of the fight.

10. BURY THE HATCHET: To settle your differences with an adversary. The origin is traced to the Native Americans whom Christopher Columbus described as the “indios”, Hatchets were buried by the chief of tribes when they come to a peace agreement.

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