helpmate

  the creation of Eve and the verse 2:18 of the Book of Genesis in the Coverdale Bible (1535)     The word helpmate means a helpful companion or partner, especially one’s husband or wife. This noun was originally helpmeet, about which the New English Dictionary (i.e. the Oxford English Dictionary – 1901 edition) explained […]

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from pillar to post

  Christ before Pilate (1881), by Mihály Munkácsy (1844-1900)     This phrase means from one place to another in an unceremonious or fruitless manner. Its earliest recorded form is from post to pillar in The Assembly of Gods, an anonymous dream-vision allegory most likely written in the early fourth quarter of the 15th century (it […]

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the apple of one’s eye – la prunelle de ses yeux

   prunelles – photograph: JP. RING – SFO-PCV (Société Française d’Orchidophilie de Poitou-Charentes et Vendée)   In early use, apple was a general term for all kinds of fruits other than berries, including even nuts. In fact, apple and berry are the only Anglo-Saxon fruit names, the rest being of Latin or ‘exotic’ origin. This […]

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to rain cats and dogs (1)

giving the true origin of the phrase “it is raining cats and dogs” and debunking its false etymologies

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