English is a fun language, they say. And the fact that it has interesting idioms cannot be denied. Have you ever wondered how and why these common English idioms came about? The surprising stories of origin of these common English idioms will certainly confuse you.
Let's look at these common English idioms and their fascinating origins.
. 1 Always a bridesmaid, never a bride
Meaning: In a literal sense, this famous English phrase means that a woman is always a bridesmaid, but never a bride. The phrase portrays an unhappy, self-pitying emotion.
Origin: The emotions of this common English language can be traced back to the time when Fred W. Leigh recorded the melodies of the song "Why Am I Always A Bridesmaid?" In a Victorian music hall. Although the origin of this common English idiom was the song, it gained fame in 1
. 2 Pulling someone's leg
Meaning: Mocking someone or joking with him to annoy him.
Beginning: Long ago the literal definition of this general English idiom was practiced by thieves. A person from these gangs of robbers was given the duty of a trigger. The tripper literally had to pull a pedestrian’s leg, trip over it, and steal from it. However, the idiom grew brighter and now describes someone who is joking or teasing someone.
. 3 Adherence to a deadline
Meaning: End an assigned task or a list of different tasks at a predefined time.
Beginning: During the civil war, lines were drawn around the borders of the prison camps. Any prisoner who attempted to cross this line was immediately shot by the guards on the spot, which coined the term “deadline”. Now this common English language is used extensively with minor differences.
. 4 Basket Case
Meaning: This common English phrase is used to define someone who doesn't understand anything.
Beginning: During the First World War baskets were used to carry soldiers who had lost their limbs. After the war, the US military coined the term "basket case" to refer to cases in which the soldier lost his limbs. Likewise, a bulletin issued by the US Command on Public in 1919 read as follows:
"The existence of basket cases in our hospitals was denied by the general surgeon of the army."
. 5 Bark Up The Wrong Tree
Meaning: Make a wrong decision or invest time and effort in the wrong direction. In the past, when hunting for raccoons was an exciting sport, hunting dogs were taken to sniff the tree and identify it with a raccoon. Because dogs were nocturnal, they sometimes barked at the wrong tree. Therefore give birth to the extremely common English language.