Tag Archive | idiom

42 Idiom Origins

Idiom: backseat driver

Backseat driver = a bossy person who tells others what to do; a person who gives unwanted advice and direction.Usually rich people used to ride in the backseats of chauffeir – driven cars. The backseat passenger gave orders to the driver where to go,what road to take, how fast to drive.

ย “I can fix this computer myself, but she always tries to be a backseat driver.”

*
It is some kind of micro-management, I’d think.ย  In either case, I don’t like it ๐Ÿ™‚

Idiom: Chip on your shoulder

Fig. a bad attitude that tends to get someone easily upset.
“Why did you get so angry at the slightest criticism? You seem to have a chip on your shoulder.”

Meaning

A perceived grievance or sense of inferiority.

Origin

The word chip has several meanings; the one that we are concerned with here is the earliest known of these, namely ‘a small piece of wood, as might be chopped, or chipped, from a larger block’. The phrase ‘a chip on one’s shoulder’ is reported as originating with the nineteenth century U.S. practice of spoiling for a fight by carrying a chip of wood on one’s shoulder, daring others to knock it off. This suggested derivation has more than the whiff of folk-etymology about it. Anyone who might be inclined to doubt that origin can take heart from an alternative theory.

It should probably look like:

AND it does not imply a real chip or a piece of chips, mind you ๐Ÿ™‚

NOR

NOT, not even that chip. Certainly not.

I’ll have some chips on my shoulders,

Idiom: Red Queen’s race

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else โ€” if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” [1]

Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Caroll

A Red Queen’s race is any conflict situation where any absolute advances are equal on all sides such that the relative advantages stay constant despite significant changes from the initial state.

In other words … Much Ado/efforts and pains About Nothing; all for naught.

Learn more @ http://rationalwiki.org

Stopping now,

 

Idiom: He will give the Devil his due

Meaning

Literally, pay the devil what you owe him. Used figuratively to mean ‘give back what you owe’, either money or favours.

Origin

From Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1, 1597:

Constable: I will cap that proverb with ‘There is flattery in friendship.’
Orleans: And I will take up that with ‘Give the devil his due.’

Viaย http://www.phrases.org.uk

Ain’t no queueing,

Idiom: “To throw a Hail Mary”

Here’s one of those phrases for you. Used not only in its original field. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary route in American football refers to any very long forward pass made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half.

What Oxford doctionary has to say about it?

Hail Mary:

1a prayer to the Virgin Mary used chiefly by Roman Catholics, beginning with part of Luke 1:28. Also called Ave Maria.
2 [usually as modifier]US (in American football) a long, typically unsuccessful pass made in an attempt to score late in the game.
a plan or project with little chance of success.
There is no play riskier in football than making a last second, desperation pass play to the end zone.ย  The game clock is running out, the opposing team’s defensive coordinator knows the play is coming, and the defense is set up and ready to foil the attempt. Hail Mary passes stimulate the minds and hearts of spectators, sports announcers and teammates.ย  After all, that last second chance to claim success offers something needed in a time of helplessness — hope.

Now I’ll use the Show, don’t tell principle:

3-2-1,
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