Results 1 to 4 of 4

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Question What's behind the idiom or phrase?

    I read the thread by RRose. "Catch 22" is a phrase that has gained its meaning from the book by the same title, based on its plot. Are there any other phrases like that, that have gotten their meanings due to an event in history or occurance?


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: What's behind the idiom or phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiser View Post
    I read the thread by RRose. "Catch 22" is a phrase that has gained its meaning from the book by the same title, based on its plot. Are there any other phrases like that, that have gotten their meanings due to an event in history or occurence?

    I'm sure there are hundreds of examples, Wiser, though none come to mind right at this moment.

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #3

    Re: What's behind the idiom or phrase?

    In the US during the 1980s, there was a sudden rash of disgruntled post office employees going to work with a gun and shooting their superiors and co-workers. Luckily, that has happened in a long time, but we still use the phrase "going postal" to describe someone who suddenly goes on a rampage or has a fit of bad temper.

    "I'd better not be late for dinner again or my mom will go postal on me!"

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,912
    #4

    Re: What's behind the idiom or phrase?

    In the UK, if you're 'on Carey Street', you are bankrupt or heavily in debt. This is because Carey Street is where the bankrupcy courts are. We talk about the 'man on the Clapham Omnibus', meaning an ordinary person, and this phrase was used in a famous court case.

Similar Threads

  1. Idiom formation via transliteration
    By cohen.izzy in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-Jan-2008, 09:05
  2. next, after
    By Nefertiti in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2007, 10:50
  3. Can you use an idiom or a phrase instead of this?
    By NewHope in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2004, 09:10
  4. GOING TO, ETC
    By jwschang in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 29-Dec-2003, 18:15
  5. Prepositional-Participal-Gerund-Infinitive Phrases
    By raelynn in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Dec-2003, 20:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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