Aug 22, 2019

Random Thursday

Let's get back to learning more about the meaning to strange expressions that we use in mostly everyday life from The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox!

(image borrowed from
We say "the coast is clear" when it appears that we can proceed with no danger. This saying dates back to when it was used by pirates, particularly the one in the crow's nest who was looking out for danger on the coast before a ship would land.

That's interesting, yet obvious if I would've gave it more thought! 

(image borrowed from Wiktionary)
"Leave no stone unturned" is an expression used in an exhausting search for something. This phrase dates back to Greek mythology where the Oracle of Delphi acquired great wisdom through the gods. When the oracle consulted the gods about how to find a defeated general's hidden treasure, she was advised that she was to "leave no stone unturned," as was written by Euripides.

One should always listen to the oracle! 

(image borrowed from The Independent)
 On March 4, 1884, a British drug company registered the word "tabloid" for a small tablet it was marketing. Around the same time, large broadsheet newspapers were challenged by small format journals and since "tabloid" came to mean anything small, that's what the news papers were called. The tabloids tended to have more gossip than fact, which is where its style soon earned the name "tabloid reporting."

(image borrowed from Reddit)
Giving someone the "third degree" means to give some a rough interrogation. The expression comes from the Masonic Lodge and its three levels of membership, each one requiring a more difficult examination. The first being Entered Apprentice, followed by Fellowcraft, and then finally, the most difficult one to pass is Master Mason.

That's interesting, if a little simple. 

(image borrowed from YouTube)
Expressions like "dressed to the nines" or "putting on the dog" mean that someone is very well dressed. The latter expression, meaning to show off comes from the practice wealthy women had of carrying lapdogs to social functions. "Dressed to the nines" comes from a time when the seats furthest from the stage were the cheap seats, costing just one pence while the ones closer to the stage cost 9 pence. Sitting in the closer seats meant needing to dress to impress with the rich and famous.

Those are actually rather interesting meanings! I particularly like the one about the dog! Lol. 


1 comment:

  1. My favourite day of the week! I get to learn so much on these posts. I didn't know any of these origins but now I can't wait to tell people them in conversation.

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders


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