Thursday, January 26, 2012

America's Little Idioms!

My graphic representation of Allora on the
cover of the novel - Trying to stay PIPA and
SOPA compliant...
Currently reading: Sonora And The Eye Of The Titans
Current page: 145
Total Pages: 299

Today's blog - "Is that where that word came from?" - Idioms.

I was actually thinking about the one specific word the other day (Keel, or to Keel over) while watching a segment on the Costa Concordia cruise liner sinking. I never knew where this word came from, until I heard the news anchor saying that the ship Keeled over. At that moment, I nearly spit out my Coke. "Did he actually say keeled over? I just thought that was an urban word." So, because I ran across the same word on Page 137 of the Sonora book, I decided to share some other idioms with you. 

Keel Over- to fall down suddenly because of illness or weakness.
  Etymology: based on the idea of a boat that keels over (turns over) with its keel (bottom) up.

Roll with the Punches - Weather through tough times. 
  Etymology: Rolling with the punches is a technique used in boxing. The objective is to avoid receiving a direct hit with solid contact.

Rule of Thumb - Basic rule that is usually, but not always correct.
   Etymology: Based on the use of ones thumb as a rough measurement tool. Generally correct for course measures. Most old  English measures of distance were based on the body measurements of the king -- the length of the foot, inch (thumb tip to first knuckle), cubit (elbow-to-fingertip), and yard (nose-to-fingertip).

Straight and Narrow - To stay out of trouble.
   Etymology: Matthew 7:14 "Broad is the way that is the path of destruction but narrow is the gate and straight is the way which leadeth to the house of God."

Turn of Phrase - A way of saying something. 
   Etymology: turning or shaping of objects(as on a lathe)

Heard through the Grapevine - An indication that a piece of information was obtained via an informal contact.
   Etymology: The wires utilized in America's first telegraph stations oftentimes swooped and draped in twisted, random patterns. Professionals and onlookers alike believed the tangled masses resembled grapevines.

Riding Shotgun - To sit in the front passenger seat of a motor-vehicle. 
   Etymology: The seat next to the driver of a stagecoach was reserved for an individual holding a shotgun to protect the vehicle's cargo from bandits.

Kick the Bucket - To die. 
   Etymology: Now-obsolite method of slautering animals for food. The wooden frame that was used to hang animals by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket. Not unnaturally, they were likely to struggle or to spasm after death and hence, "Kick the Bucket."

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