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Idioms: Just Deserts (not Just Desserts)

The popular expression “Just Deserts”, meaning a deserved punishment or reward can be traced back to the 13th century and is derived from the...

Phrase Origins: Raining Cats and Dogs

There are numerous guesses at the origin of the popular phrase “It’s raining cats and dogs”, none of which can be said to be...

Idioms: Heebie Jeebies

The term Heebie Jeebies (meaning a feeling of nervousness, fright, or worry, or having the jitters) is widely attributed to cartoonist Billie DeBeck (1890-1942) who also...

Idioms: Kid Gloves

To treat  (or handle) with “kid gloves” is a popular American phrase meaning to treat a someone or something with extreme tact or gentleness....

Who Said That?: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

The well known saying “15 Minutes of Fame” was coined by Andy Warhol. The expression is a paraphrase of a line in Warhol’s exhibition catalog...

Idioms: Blue Blood

The English idiom Blue Blood has been in use since 1834 and refers to a person of noble birth or descent. It is a translation of...

Idioms: Have One’s Cake and Eat it Too

To have one’s cake and eat it too is a popular English idiom meaning one can’t use something up and still have it to...

Idioms: Basket Case

The common phrase “basket case”, currently refers to a person who is helpless or incapable of functioning normally, especially due to overwhelming stress, anxiety etc. It’s original meaning comes from the US military immediately following WWI. The term...