We most likely use many expressions, slang as well as idioms in our everyday life that do not bode well and sometimes make no sense at all. Sometimes we wonder why we say things that we say and what does it actually mean. In any case, some English articulations are absolutely insane and crazy that you probably cannot think about where it started from.
In this article, we will talk about some of the most interesting expressions and their origins. Have a look:
1.Balls to the wall
This means: An all-out effort
Origin: This funny expression is primarily driven from aviation and is mostly used by the pilots. The balls sat over the levers that control the fuel blends and the throttle. Driving them in a forward direction towards the cockpit’s front wall influenced the plane to move quicker.
This means: Perfection
Origin: Back in the mid-1920’s, there was a crazy fever about the animals and the making of their body parts. You can find lots of them like elephant’s wrist, bee’s knees, dog’s bollocks — yet just two of them have survived till today: cat’s pajamas and bee’s knees. Whenever something is called “bee’s knee” it clearly states that the thing is remarkable in quality.
This means: To ignore someone intentionally
Origin: This phrase was originated in 1816 by Sir Walter Scott. It is actually about the uninvited visitors because when people who were welcome visited, they were served a freshly cooked hot meal but the others who were uninvited were given just the “cold shoulder of mutton.” This phrase is now used when someone ignores somebody deliberately.
4.Chance your arm
This means: To take a risk
Origin: This expression is referred to the military because it is about the strip the military people have on their uniform’s sleeve. So when one takes a risk, there is a great chance that he can be demoted and in that case, the strip will be lost.
This means: To end up in a situation of mess
Origin: It is an American expression that was originated in 1905. At that time, wires were used for domestic jobs (i.e., binding the broken machinery) and they were all taken from hay bales. So it was mostly used for the manufacturers of poor quality things, and the haywire was a temporary fix for all that stuff.
This means: To remain silent
Origin: First of all, this expression is not about the mothers. It is originated from a dice game that is known as mumchance. It was a top-rated game in the old times and was played in pin drop silence.
7.Make the grade
It means: To meet up a certain standard
Origin: This expression is not about taking an exam. It was originated in the 19th century by the railroad construction in the United States of America. In the construction of the railroad, the plan was made with very accurate calculations so that there would be no issues for the engines in the future.
8.My ears are burning
This means: When one hears another person talking about him
Origin: This is a Roman phrase as they had a weird inclination about tickling and burning sensations in different parts of the body, for example, they believed that if one’s right eye tickled, so someone somewhere is praising him whereas, the left eye was about the evil.
9.Over a barrel
This means: To be controlled by somebody
Origin: This particular phrase comes with a Spanish origin. It was a kind of torture for people that they were hanged over boiling water. And if someone doesn’t follow their instructions, so he/she was dropped inside the barrel of boiling water.
10.Take the piss
This means: To scoff somebody
Origin: Back in the old times, people used to collect the urine of different human beings for the textile industry particularly the cloth dying units, and it was one of the least desirable things to do. So anyone who had this job would hide from others about what they did to maintain a living. All these people were ridiculed because of their job and were asked if they were “taking the piss.”
11.Wild goose chase
It means: Looking for something pointless
Origin: This phrase was originated from a specific horse race where all the horses were positioned like the geese taking flight; although, it was not an actual race because there were no winners.
It means: To show hesitation
Origin: It was originated in the late 19th century, but no one exactly knows about its origin. It is used by the military. A man having cold feet is unable to take part in any battle.