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    #1

    origin of some idioms

    Hi!
    Iīm doing some research on the origin of idioms for a project at the university, but there are six idioms whose origin I canīt find anywhere. They are the following:
    At odds with
    Build bridges
    Pat on the back
    Have a soft spot for someone
    Kiss and make up
    Fight like cat and dog
    If you could help I would be very grateful
    Thanks in advance

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: origin of some idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by Almudena.Saludador View Post
    Hi!
    Iīm doing some research on the origin of idioms for a project at the university, but there are six idioms whose origin I canīt find anywhere. They are the following:
    At odds with
    Build bridges
    Pat on the back
    Have a soft spot for someone
    Kiss and make up
    Fight like cat and dog
    If you could help I would be very grateful
    Thanks in advance
    Try Bartleby.com: Great Books Online -- Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Thesaurus and hundreds more and select Brewer. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable isn't totally reliable, but it may send you down useful research paths. Also it might be worth trying Online Etymology Dictionary .

    b

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    #3

    Re: origin of some idioms

    Thereīs a site called the word detective by Evan Morris that is fabulous for etymology...Itīs www.word-detective.com...check it out!

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: origin of some idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by Almudena.Saludador View Post
    Hi!
    Iīm doing some research on the origin of idioms for a project at the university, but there are six idioms whose origin I canīt find anywhere. They are the following:
    At odds with
    Build bridges
    Pat on the back
    Have a soft spot for someone
    Kiss and make up
    Fight like cat and dog
    If you could help I would be very grateful
    Thanks in advance
    I doubt you'll have much success with some of these. Build bridges is a metaphor more than an idiom. It is just a figurative use of "bridges". A pat on the back simply describes the action that accompanies praise. Fight like a cat and a dog is a simile based on observation of cats and dogs.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: origin of some idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I doubt you'll have much success with some of these. Build bridges is a metaphor more than an idiom. It is just a figurative use of "bridges"....
    And it's a very old metaphor. The Pope was called pontifex because he built a bridge between Earth and Heaven. Ironically, because of the way the Pope lays down the (moral) law, the modern English word we get from it is pontificate (which has nothing to do with building bridges).

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  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: origin of some idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    And it's a very old metaphor. The Pope was called pontifex because he built a bridge between Earth and Heaven. Ironically, because of the way the Pope lays down the (moral) law, the modern English word we get from it is pontificate (which has nothing to do with building bridges).

    b
    Interesting. I didn't know about "pontifex". I guess it has the same root as "pontoon".

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: origin of some idioms

    - as far as the floating bridge sort is concerned. I don't know about the card-game - my first guess would be that it's a corruption of vingt-et-un.

    b

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