Welcome to Our World Revisited

Welcome to Our World Revisited

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The True Meanings Behind Old Sayings We Still Use Today!

4:28 AM |

                                    Did you know that most age old sayings and figures of speech that are commonly used today hold their true meanings in history and folklore? In part, we as citizens of our society say most things we say because of our cultural background, religion, age, social status, education, and even our upbringing. However, there are also some things we say because we've heard it being said by so many people for so long. These sayings are legendary somewhat, being passed down from generation to generation! Isn't it amazing how we can preserve a saying through the ages and have it take on a whole other meaning without even realizing its initial origins? In this article I will mention some all too familiar sayings that hold their bearing in history and folklore! I hope your as surprised as I was!

                                We've all heard of the term "bite the bullet". This old saying in our day and age means to bear a painful consequence or circumstance, or even to face up to an unpleasant truth! Originally this terms has its root in the civil war before there anaesthetics existed. Soldiers who would undergo an operation were given a bullet to bite in their pain to keep from biting down on their own tongue!

"The bitter end" is a figure of speech that has its origins at sea! Anchor cables for ships were wrapped around posts called "bitts". The last piece of cable was then called "the bitter end". If you let the cable out to the bitter end then there was nothing else you could do because you had reached the end of resources!

A person would say you were "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" in our day and age if you were born into a wealthy family or one of high social status and primarily wouldn't have to work as hard as others would. In the old ages, children who were christened were given a silver spoon out of tradition by their godparents, if these godparents were wealthy enough to afford one that is.

Have you ever punished your children and have them cry as a result but still do the same thing they were punished for? Well these are called "Crocodile Tears", meaning tears of insincerity. This comes from the folklore that suggests crocodiles actually cried after they had killed or eaten a man. However, it would return to eat again!

In the Middle Ages many birds were caught and sole for money. To catch these birds some would use a variety of methods but the easiest one would be to find a bush and beat it until the birds came flying out upon which you would catch them. Some people viewed this method as being unskilled in the trade of catching birds. This is where the term "beating around the bush" came from, although in our day it means hiding or shying away from the truth or main focus of an idea!

Has anyone ever won or succeeded in something so spectacularly that you find yourself saying "they won with flying colors"? This popular saying in our day refers to winning or succeeding in something rather well or extremely better than your counterparts. In the old world, when a fleet won a victory at sea the ships would sail home to their ports with their colors flying proudly in their masts to signify their victory!

Ever heard of a freelance writer, artist, musician, or businessman? In our day this term is given to skilled workers in a field of the workforce  that are free to work for anyone who would hire them for their specific skill or trade. In the Middle Ages, soldiers were called "lances" and a "freelance" was a soldier who was literally free to live a regular life or fight for any army that would take them into their ranks.

This figure of speech has its origins in Jewish tradition. When a visitor came to your house unwanted, you would serve them the cold shoulder of mutton during dinner time to let them know they were not invited or welcomed again. In our day giving someone "the cold shoulder" means to ignore them or be indeed cold or distant to them.

                               There are so many more sayings than just the ones I addressed here! Its always fun to research rarely known facts behind common ideas and practices that still exist today! I hope you have enjoyed this article and would consider taking up the hobby of researching old sayings for yourselves!

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Anonymous said...

What does; "For the Love of Riley" and "Boys from Dover" mean?

Aumunique Cozart said...

To be married in a house with no kids... Meaning?

mine said...

No problem will leave u where you found it.... can someone enlighten me on the meaning

Anonymous said...

silence reigns and we all got wet

Anonymous said...

What does the old saying mean "silence reigns and we all got wet"?

Anonymous said...

where does the saying "lock stock and barrel" originate?

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