the biblical origin of ‘to go the extra mile’

meaning: to try especially hard to achieve something or do it well—originally ‘to go the second mile’—alludes to the gospel of Matthew, 5:41: “And whosoeuer shall compell thee to goe a mile, goe with him twaine”

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‘Frankenstein’s monster’: meaning and origin

also ‘Frankenstein’—a creation over which the creator loses control, eventually being destroyed by it—UK, 1822—alludes to ‘Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus’ (1818), by Mary Shelley

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‘ye gods and little fishes!’: meaning and origin

expresses indignation, disbelief or amazement—USA, 1818—expanded form of the exclamation ‘ye gods’—perhaps a reference to the miracle of the loaves and fishes fed to the five thousand in the gospel of Matthew

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‘to rob Peter to pay Paul’: meanings and origin

to take away from one person, cause, etc., in order to pay or confer something on another; to discharge one debt by incurring another—late 14th century—from the association of ‘Peter’ and ‘Paul’, the names of two leading apostles and saints, and fellow martyrs at Rome

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‘curtain lecture’: meaning and origin

a rebuke given in private by a wife to her husband—1625—from the idea that, in order to conduct herself properly, a wife was to rebuke her husband in secret only, i.e., in the privacy of their curtained bed

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‘holier-than-thou’: meaning and origin

self-righteously or sanctimoniously virtuous, or professing to be so—UK, 1834—alludes to the Book of Isaiah, 65:5: “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.”

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‘ember months’: meaning and origin

the final four months of the calendar year, i.e., September, October, November and December—UK, 1863—from ‘-ember’ in ‘September’, ‘November’ and ‘December’

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