Curious Turns of Phrase #4

This is the fourth in a series of short articles on idioms.

The one I’ll explore this time is: Devil’s advocate

Photo from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. The photo is by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.
Photo from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. The photo is by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.
Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

While the idioms I’ve previously explored have faded from common use to some degree, this one — Devil’s advocate — has not. And while many idioms have an uncertain history about their origin, this one is again different. What’s even more interesting is that this idiom is actually a job description, though it’s unlikely you’ll find it in anyone’s résumé.

It appears this was a position first given to an officer of the Sacred Congregation of Rites in 1587…


Curious Turns of Phrase #3

This is the third in a series of short articles on idioms.

The one I’ll explore this time is: the bee’s knees

“July Honey Bee” by MattX27 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
“July Honey Bee” by MattX27 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
“July Honey Bee” by MattX27 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The ‘bee’s knees’ is another phrase more commonly heard in old movies or in stories written in the early 20th century, though it is still used occasionally, if only for humorous effect.

This particular idiom does intrigue me, however, as the meaning of the phrase has changed completely since its first usage. The expression ‘bee’s knees’ or ‘bee’s knee’ has been around since at least 1797, but it had a different meaning when it first came into common…


Curious Turns of Phrase #2

This is the second in a series of short articles on idioms.

The one I’ll explore this time is: beat the band

A marching band photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash.
A marching band photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash.

This is an expression that has been around for a long time. I have found instances of it going back to 1895. Despite these sorts of references that prove its origin is from an earlier time, it still seems to be used fairly often. It is not unusual to hear someone say, “It’s raining to beat the band.” Or, perhaps, “He was screaming to beat the band.”

There are a few different theories on the origin, however, especially…


Curious Turns of Phrase #1

This is what I hope will be a series of short articles on idioms. Every now and then I hear one of these expressions and wonder how it all got started. I’ll try to provide a little enlightenment on this intriguing (to me) subject.

The first one I’ll explore is: like gangbusters.

A duck in a trench coat carrying a Tommy gun — Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
A duck in a trench coat carrying a Tommy gun — Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Most people have probably heard this phrase at some point in their life, though it doesn’t seem to be used as much anymore. It all started because of a radio show that aired from 1936 until 1957 called Gang Busters. I’ve read the show was originally called G-Men


Every flower has a special time to bloom

During April of 2020, author Terri Deno posted daily prompts on the web using either text or images to inspire people to write for National Poetry Month. Here’s my take on her tenth prompt, an image you can find HERE. The image on the page is my own artwork.

For this poem, I played around with the formatting as much as I can here, just for fun.

Dolores

K R Smith

Writing, artwork, music — maybe even a recipe for chili. For more, go to: https://www.worldofkrsmith.com/

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