Sayings | Language education

"Laugh like the chickens", "stand on the tube", "make a day out" - these are all phrases that we use in everyday life, without really knowing where they come from. Although we know what we mean by that and everyone understands the meaning behind it, but if you take a closer look at the sentence creations, they are usually very funny or no longer make sense nowadays.

Idioms - their meaning and origin

Many sayings could do with a modernization, to give them a clear picture again. Only these modern phrases usually do not prevail and we always fall back to the original ones. It's time to take a closer look at the origin.

Speech - meaning and origin
Well-known phrases simply explained

Idioms are fixed word structures whose components can not be exchanged because otherwise the overall picture is no longer correct. From "lying the blue of the sky" can not be "The red from the sky to lie", because nobody understands this and it makes no sense. Idioms are pictorial expressions that are well known and anchored in the language. This is also available in other languages. While it "rains" with us, it rains in England "Cats and Dogs" - ie cats and dogs. In this country, we would not understand this, in England, on the other hand, one does not understand the twine.

We have collected the most common phrases and felt them on the "tooth". Here you can even see for yourself where the most common phrases have their tribe.

Building blocks are amazed

In the evening, Luisa presents her parents with a poem that she should study for the school. The parents are puzzled and ask if they have really memorized the poem one day, which Luisa affirms.

Idiom "building blocks marvel"?
What does the idiom "building bricks astonish" mean?

The father exclaims: "I'm amazed building blocks, how quickly you can memorize texts! You do not have that from me, I can not remember anything like that. "

But where does the father have this expression "building blocks" amazed? Luisa asks her father what that means and where it comes from? Although the father can answer that he wants to express his surprise with it, but does not know where the phrase "building bricks amaze" comes from. A look at the internet helps the family.

This peculiar idiom comes from the early 20. Century and came up in Berlin. It was developed from the dialect of Berlin, which means "make jolts", which in turn is a short form of the term "Jlotzoogen", that is, goggle eyes. From the "Jlotzoogen" became in the course of time "Jolts". Due to Franconian influences, this term was transformed into the word "Klozzer" and due to the influence of the High German language, the actual meaning came more and more into oblivion and was then transformed into today's "building blocks marvel". Thus, this phrase comes from the phrase "make goggle eyes", says today but still the same as before 200 years ago. Somebody makes big eyes in astonishment and that is exactly what we do when we are very surprised. Pay attention to the eyes of your counterpart when he is surprised how big they get.

Have a board in front of your head

David has been looking at the math problem for a minute and does not know where to start. Somehow, he does not want to do the job today, even though he is so good at math. The teacher looks over his shoulder, gives a little hint, but David still does not click.

Speeches - "Having a board in front of your head"?
What does the phrase "having a board in front of your head" mean?

"Well, David, do you have a board in front of your head today?" The teacher asks. David nods. After the teacher briefly explains the steps to him, David beats his head and says, "Oh, that was easy! Why did not I understand that right away? "David now wants to know from the teacher, where the phrase" a board in front of the head "comes from and his teacher must confess that she does not know it herself and only ask this question in the next one Hour can answer. Does the teacher now have a board in front of her head?

The phrase comes from the Middle Ages, when the field was plowed with a team of oxen. The animals got a board in front of their eyes so they could not see anything. This kept the animals easier to tame, because when an ox broke out it was very difficult to keep the plow. Other sources claim that the phrase comes from the time when the bull was no longer stretched before the bull's eye, but in front of his forehead. This so-called "front yoke" served as a power transmission, so that the tensile load was transferred not only from the muscles, but also from the head to the harness and the plow. Since oxen were considered stupid, it could have formed the opinion, a board in front of the head prevent thinking and so we still say today, if we do not see something immediately, recognize or we can not imagine that we have a board before the Have head. If we do not know something, because we've never heard it before, then we have no board in front of our heads. This phrase refers only to things that are already stored somewhere in our memory.

Untie a bear to someone

The holidays are over and the students are to report on their most beautiful holiday experience in class. Tina answers and says that she was fishing with her uncle and pulled a huge fish out of the water.

Untie a bear to someone
Where does the phrase "untie a bear"

She takes her arms to help and shows how big this fish was. The teacher laughs and says: "Well, Tina, there you want to untie us a bear!", With which Tina unfortunately can not do anything. She asks what that phrase means and the teacher explains, "I mean, now you are exaggerating and flogging us. The fish that you have hooked on can not have been that big. "The students want to know why" spreading a bear "means exaggerating or even lying in their stories.

The origin of this phrase is not very clear. Probably this phrase has Germanic roots, since the word "bar" in Germanic means "bear" or "load". But that does not explain why this word has anything to do with a lie or a fib. The vernacular has considered a number of anecdotes to explain this phrase. One of them says that a bear is such a heavy burden that you can not strap it on anyone's back. If you want to untang someone who was not, and recognize the lie, he says: "You want to untie me a bear."

Be on 180

When the teacher comes to class in the morning, Hendrik senses that the vocabulary test did not turn out well. The teacher looks around for a long time and then says, "When I saw through the weekend test, I was on 180. Did any of you actually learn the vocabulary? I'm afraid we have to repeat the test. "

Redovers - Be on 180
Where does the phrase "be on 180" come from?

Hendrik exhales with relief. The test is repeated. He really had not learned for it and so he was already afraid of censorship. The next moment, however, he considers what his teacher means by saying she was on 180? After a while, he answers and asks.

The teacher explains that someone is on 180 when he is angry. The number 180 comes from the traffic. If someone drives 180 kilometers per hour, this is called lawn. Since one speaks of rage with rage even with strong rage, the number was transferred to the raging speed on the anger. This comparison comes from a time when the top speed was not yet above 200 h / km as it is today. Thus one could say today also "I was on 220!", This would be the modern version of the idiom, would also be understood, but of course not common.

The A and O

"A good school education is the alpha and omega for starting a career," says Frederike's grandmother, looking anxiously at the grades of her grandchild. Frederike knows that she has not splashed her fame in the mid-year report and answers sheepishly that she will be better off in the next six months.

Idiom "The Alpha and Omega"
What does the phrase "the alpha and omega" mean?

Then she asks her grandmother why school education would be the alpha and omega for starting a career. The grandmother replies, "This means the beginning and the end. If you pay close attention at school from the beginning, you will end up with a good degree and can study whatever you want. "

After noon, Frederike goes home to show the grades to her parents as well. She keeps thinking about why the grandma set the A for beginning but the O for the end. Maybe your grandma can not read and write properly?

Frederike's mother has to laugh at this statement of her daughter and explains:

"The Greek alphabet has the A for Alpha as the first letter and the O for Omega as the last letter. The phrase comes from the translation of the Bible by Martin Luther. In it, God says, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end ..." These words are from the Revelation of John the Mother knows to say: "That is meant; who has the beginning and the end of a thing in view, the master of the whole. Thus, the power of knowledge is expressed. "

Frederike is very impressed and decides that in the future she wants to keep an eye on the whole thing and improve her school grades.

The point

Anke is sad. She wanted to go to the movies with her best friend today, but she canceled at the last moment. Stefan, Anke's big brother, tries to comfort her. "Then you go to the movies tomorrow, is not that bad."

Speech - "The point"?
What does the phrase "the key point" mean?

"Tomorrow is not a cinema day and the film costs two euros more. The point is, I do not have that much pocket money left. "

Not a nice situation, but you have to laugh at the saying in the statement. What is a key point? Does a punctuation jump happily up and down? And if so, what does that have to do with the statement?

The phrase indicates urgency or importance. It comes from Aristotle, who realized that on the egg yolk of a chicken egg a small dot jumps up and down when a chick evolves. This little point is the heart and thus the most important organ of the growing chick. And so the saying in the statement points to what is most important here.

Give heel money

The mother reads in the evening from the newspaper that a young man was able to escape the shoplifting three policemen. She comments on the post: "Well, he gave a lot of heel money if he could run against three policemen."

Speeches - "Give heel money"?
What does the phrase "give heel money" mean?

Jenny thinks about the sentence for a long time. Did the thief pay for it to escape or what did the mother mean by that? While brushing her teeth at bedtime, Jenny still has the question in her head and decides to speak to her parents again.

The father explains: "Giving heels means that someone could quickly escape or escape by running. This phrase probably comes from the 13. Century, when it was still common in a Slavic tribe that married women could buy themselves out of their marriage. For three pennies (which at that time was given to a young cow who did not yet have a calf, ie a heifer), a woman could leave her husband. The word heifer money became heel money over time. "

The mother joins the conversation and tells her that she knows another way the heel money relates.

"Among the Alemanni, it was customary to impose a fine on men who had gone to war in a warlike conflict. This was called heel money, because you only saw the back of the men in the escape and thus of course the heels and not the entire foot. "

Mother and father agree, however, that both versions can be correct, even if they are derived from two different things.

One stews me a stork

"Look Mom, the TV that Dad bought last week, you get now for 200 Euro less," Kena tells her mother and holds up a page advertising the newspaper.

Phrases - "One steaks me a stork"?
Where does the saying "roast a stork to me" come from?

The mother takes the paper in her hand, reads the advertisement through and says in surprise: "Why does someone roast a stork, so much cheaper? That's amazing! "

Kena looks at her mother in amazement. What does the fried stork have to do with it? She knows the stork only from the nurse's tale that he brings the babies and thus serves as a symbol of happiness. Does it perhaps bring mischief to fry this stork? Does her mother want to say they're unlucky because they bought the TV two weeks ago?

In the evening, Kena shows the ad to her father, who reacts with the same phrase. Now she asks what the parents mean by that. The father explains: "Here again the Bible is the cause of the phrase. According to the Book of Moses storks may not be eaten. Later in the Middle Ages, the stork was considered a lucky charm whose meat could not be consumed because it did not taste. In the Renaissance, ie the epoch of the Enlightenment, the stork was jokingly referred to as delicacies literary jargon to point out the misconceptions of the Middle Ages. The fried stork thus became the symbol of the new, the never seen or never tried, which is suddenly revealed or enlightened. Insights that come into being again are also expressed. It is an expression of astonishment, as well as "Potz Blitz" is often used when something surprising happens. "

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