Friday, 2 February 2018

Where Did That Come From? The Oral Edition

All of today's sayings (idioms) are connected to the mouth in some way.

Frog in Your Throat – this one is American of origin.  It means having difficulty speaking or being hoarse.  Its derivation simply seems to be that when you are hoarse your voice is croaky – like a frog.  An American firm sold Frog in Your Throat lozenges and after they were exported to the UK, the phrase became common there.

Wet your Whistle – If you had a drink of lemonade, you wouldn't be wetting your whistle – this one refers to alcoholic beverages.  There are some rather fanciful theories that whistles were used to attract a barman's attention.  But in my view, you whistle with your lips, so if you are wetting your lips with a drink, then the phrase works.  I'm not a whistler, but apparently it's hard to do with dry lips.

Bitter Pill to Swallow – so this means something you have to accept even though you don't like it and your pride is hurt.  But why a pill?  Maybe people have always found pills to swallow – and bitter ones would be even more unpleasant??

By the Skin of your Teeth – the origin of this one is the Book of Job in the Bible.  It means to have a very narrow escape.  But your teeth aren't covered in skin… maybe that's the point, the escape was so narrow that it was like the non existent skin on teeth.

1 comment:

Your comments are most welcome. Cheers