Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 1
    • Post Thanks / Like

    proverbial hit the fan?

    could anyone explain to me on this expression and with an example? Thanks!

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,035
    • Post Thanks / Like

    Re: proverbial hit the fan?

    'The proverbial' is a common (and multi-purpose) euphemism for any offensive word in an idiom. Instead, for example, of 'a pain in the a$$' (I've used dollar signs there because this is the American version of 'a pain in the are' ), one can say 'a pain in the proverbial'. In the case of your expression, the offensive word is ... [Expletive deleted]*

    What do I care? When the proverbial hits the fan, I won't be around.


    * This euphemism was popularized by the publication of the Watergate transcripts. It was presumably used before then, whenever current speech was transcribed for official purposes; but those transcripts brought the expression into more general use.

Similar Threads

  1. 'proverbial right arm'
    By Tan Elaine in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13-Sep-2008, 18:53
  2. proverbial basket
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28-Nov-2006, 06:03
  3. idiomatic expression "missed the proverbial boat"
    By angelafreitas in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 24-Oct-2006, 21:10
  4. go out the proverbial window
    By beeja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Oct-2005, 10:41
  5. A proverbial Q
    By mir12480 in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Aug-2005, 02:32


Posting Permissions

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