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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    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. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #2

    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. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: proverbial light bulb

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

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    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 - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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