American expressions dating
If that doesn't work, there may be a network issue, and you can use our self test page to see what's preventing the page from loading.Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.This summer, journalist Matthew Engel took to the BBC website to bemoan the corrupting influence of U. So it may shock you to learn that British words and expressions have, of late, been worming their way into the American lexicon as much as the other way around. Readers were invited to weigh in with their picks for the worst of the worst, and within a day, that Brits have been whining about "Americanisms" at least since 1781, when John Witherspoon coined the term.was the traditional choice, and it was fine as far as it went.After thousands of iterations, however, the word seemed a little threadbare, and its vaudeville-magic-act associations ever harder to ignore. Journalists again faced a question: what to call that preliminary period?Venerable Greeks and Romans, or “laureates,” were thus able to “rest on their laurels” by basking in the glory of past achievements.Only later did the phrase take on a negative connotation, and since the 1800s it has been used for those who are overly satisfied with past triumphs.
The most complete and authoritative idioms dictionary available, the Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms gives you the tools to understand contemporary American English.
While ostensibly a reward, the creatures were tremendously expensive to feed and house, and caring for one often drove the recipient into financial ruin.
Whether any specific rulers actually bestowed such a passive-aggressive gift is uncertain, but the term has since come to refer to any burdensome possession—pachyderm or otherwise.
While the connections are sometimes obvious, other phrases have become so commonplace that most speakers probably never stop to consider their source.
Find out more about the unusual origin stories behind 10 everyday phrases.