My problem with idioms today

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For those of you who are listening,

People tend to go through their day to day life using expressions they have picked up along their way, and use them without asking any questions.

Like many other things, this has started to annoy me. It baffles me why anyone would use idioms from 90 years ago without batting an eyelash. Below are a few favorites that I regularly encounter, my take on them, and hopefully some info on where they originate from.

Elbow Grease

This is up there, how is this still being used today? You can thank Andrew Marvell who said this back in 1672. That’s a full 346 years of idiots using this idiom which doesn’t fill me with joy as a starting point.

In a previous job we had a young apprentice who we sent off on errands to find impossible items, elbow grease being one of them. Along with indicator fluid, glass nails, and a VERY long weight, it gave us great enjoyment to see the sourpusses face upon his return.

Easy as Pie

It would seem in the late 19th century Americans LOVED pie.

So much so that they started to include it in their daily lingual. Everyone wanted a slice of the American pie, they had their fingers in it, and it made them feel upper crust.

They were even promised pie in the sky as a way to endure life. Like a promise of heavenly reward for baring their own existence. In my head, I just see an American asking a priest at Sunday mass “But will there be pie?”

Pardon my French 

This takes the biscuit. Many of you (including myself) would think that it would be used after saying something rude. Note; this normally is said in English, and then accompanied by “pardon my french” which is annoying enough.

Wikipedia states¬†that the phrase “derives from a literal usage of the exclamation. In the 19th century, when English people used French expressions in conversation they often apologised for it – presumably because many of their listeners (then as now) wouldn’t be familiar with the language”.

It then got a bit racist. Coming into the 20th century it was then used to attach anything rude, or foul, with the French. For example; “taking French leave” means to leave the party without saying goodbye. “French kissing” implies that they would have contracted herpes from THAT kind of kiss. And a “French letter” is simply just a condom.

I truly hope I have shed some light on some of the idioms used today. Please try to refrain from using them. Although, I can appreciate it’s rather hard to do.

 

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