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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 1

    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: 16,038

    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.

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