The Surprising Origins Of 43 Popular Expressions


Have you ever thought about some of the common expressions, slang, and cliches we use on a daily basis and ask yourself where these unusual idioms originated from? Well, have. So, I decided to finally “go the whole 9 yards” to find out and I am “pleased as punch” that I did.

1. Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater


During the 1500s, most people bathed once a year. Even when they did bathe, the entire family used the same tubful of water. The man of the house bathed first, followed by other males, then females, and finally the babies. You can imagine how thick and cloudy the water became by that time, so the infants’ mothers had to take care not to throw them out with the bathwater when they

2. Hold A Candle To

This phrase originates from when apprentices were expected to hold the candle up, so their more experienced colleagues could see what they were doing. The phrase first appeared in print in Sir Edward Dering’s The fower cardinal-vertues of a Carmelite fryar, in 1641.


History Revealed

8. A Stone’s Throw

This term for ‘a short distance’ is a variation of ‘a stone’s cast’, first used in early editions of the Bible, but it fell out of use. Writer John Arbuthnot revived it in The History of John Bull, in 1712.

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