Cliche Sunday

A week into the new year, and I better get it in gear! I haven’t been checking my feed to see what all the other bloggers are putting out there, and I totally skipped last week on my running blog. I would like so say I have been busy, and I will admit that last week was the longest four-day work week ever; but really there has been a lot of Wordy and Solitaire in my life. I might have an addiction problem. I do waste a lot of time that way.  Probably better than Twitter (which I also spend a lot of time on).

I believe we left off on the “G’s”……

get it in gear: to start to work effectively and with energy.* I have to say this is one of my failures. While I can easily find what this phrase means, I can’t seem to find where or when it came from. I can say I heard it a lot growing up 🙂 There was rumor that it came from the 1950s, and was a reference to moving your car-which makes sense, but is completely unsubstantiated.

gee whiz: expletive, like good gracious, good grief, or good lord!  The gee is an actual reference to Jesus, shortened so it doesn’t offend. An Americanism from the 1800s, ‘gee’ was also a popular phrase to indicate surprise or disbelief.

“Gee-wees!…I’ll bet one hundred dollars on that hand!”
Cody and Arlington’s Life on the Border, 1876

gild the lily: to over embellish an item (or person) that doesn’t need it. ‘To gild’ is to cover with a thin layer of gold, so ‘gilding refined gold’ is obviously unnecessary.**  The origin of this lays, once more, with Shakespeare. While he may not have actually come up with the phrase, he is the first one to use it in print:

Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
King John 1595

go over like a lead balloon: to be a complete and utter failure. This one arose on both sided of the pond. In England it was first used in the beginning of the 20th century, and actually started as “went down like a lead balloon.”  It was coined in America in the early 20th century as well, although at first the phrase went over like the proverbial lead balloon. It was in the early 1950s that it was revived and became popular.





*the free dictionary



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