Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,221
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default proverbial light bulb

    Please explain the following in red more easily. When do you use this expression?

    Or they see a way to connect precedents to make a solution. Their brains connect the dots, and they feel it as a flash of insight: the proverbial light bulb goes off in their heads. Of course it's not really magic, but it can seem like it at the time.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    779
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: proverbial light bulb

    It is used colloquially to indicate the moment that everything suddenly becomes clear to you, or you have a good idea, or you solve a puzzle. To be precise, it should refer to a light bulb being "switched on", rather than "going off". The device is often used by cartoonists, who draw an illuminated light bulb in a "thought bubble" above the head of someone who has just had a good idea.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,808
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: proverbial light bulb

    It's a metaphor for an insight or new idea.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,815
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: proverbial light bulb

    It's somewhat erroneous to refer to it as the "proverbial" light bulb as there is no actual proverb to do with it.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-May-2012, 07:21
  2. A light bulb goes off
    By masterding in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2011, 09:17
  3. bulb
    By sunsunmoon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2011, 15:07
  4. a light bulb over my head
    By Idiomaticus in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-Sep-2010, 09:43
  5. light bulb
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-Apr-2008, 13:55

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •