Origins of Expressions – Bill Rogers – 8 January 2019

How often do you hear or use an expression, or idiom, and think “I wonder where that came from”? In our daily conversations we say things like “back to square one then” or “in a nutshell” or “that cost an arm and a leg” with no idea what they once met. Well the club got the new year of to a flying start with a greatly entertaining talk on just that subject by notable local speaker Bill Rodgers. Apparently there are more than 25,000 such expressions in the English language and Bill illustrated and explained a good number of these to his interested audience.

John Ewing thanked Bill for his talk and commented that we will now, whenever we absent-mindedly employ an expression like these, automatically think of him and his talk.

Bill with President Colin

[ PS: to satisfy readers’ curiosity: “Back to square one” originates from football commentary and was used when the ball was passed back into the goalkeeper’s box; “in a nutshell” refers to medieval times when important legal notes and the like were transported for safe-keeping in walnut shells; and “that cost an arm and a leg” originated at a time when portrait painters charged more if a subject required limbs included. ]