Another Bump in the Road: Dark Origins of Idioms

Today you’ll learn the dark past of 3 common modern idioms.

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Violent Idiom Origins

There’s more than one way to skin a cat

Meaning: there’s more than one way to get a job done, or more than one path towards achieving a goal

This violent animal idiom is related originally to, ‘there are more ways to kill a dog than hanging’, from the 7th century. Then, in the 1830’s, it became, ‘there are more ways to kill a cat than choking it with cream’. Our modern proverb was in place from the 1850’s on.

By the way, in my course, you learn the origins of swear words and phrases as well, for all you language nerds out there!

Kill 2 birds with one stone

Meaning: To accomplish two different things with only one action

For example, if I’m at the grocery store, and I find a birthday present for my friend as well as getting all my groceries, I’ve killed 2 birds with one stone.

Luckily, this was never really literal. Some experts relate this idiom to the Greek story of Icarus, and others think it is just based on an older saying, ‘to stop two gaps with one bush.’

Just another bump in the road

Meaning: just another little problem but you’ll get over it easily

James and I learned where this came from this weekend!

When people were travelling the Oregon Trail in the 1800’s to settle the west of America, tons of people died. They would bury people under the road. That’s it!

Comment on this video! Try to use one of today’s idioms!

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Pop Culture R&R

When I think macabre and gruesome, I think Stephen King!

I’ve been a huuuuge King fan my whole life.

My favorite series of all time is his Dark Tower Series, about a gunslinger in a parallel dimension that has to save the world.

Check it out! The first book is called The Gunslinger, and it’s short and sweet. Then you can read the rest of the series!