Today's idioms are brought to you by the letter G!
1. This building was once beautiful, but now it’s gone to pot.
Meaning: to become ruined; get worse and worse.
Origin: This saying is from the 1500s, and originally referred to old or weak animals that could no longer breed, lay eggs, give milk, or pull wagons. They were more useful on the dinner plate than in the barnyard, so they were slaughtered and cooked in a pot. Now, we say something has gone to pot when a person is worn out, in bad shape, or can’t do its job properly. Similar to: “gone to wrack and ruin,” “gone to the dogs,” and “gone to seed.”
2. Don’t be obnoxious to Aunt Jo after she gives you money. You’ll kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Meaning: to spoil or destroy something that produces a long-term gain for the sake of a quick reward.
Origin: This phrase has been used since the 1500s in England. Aesop wrote a fable about a farmer who owned a goose that laid one golden egg per day. The greedy farmer became impatient and decided to kill the goose so he could get all the eggs that were in the goose at one time. Of course, there were no more in there, and a dead goose can’t lay any more eggs, so the foolish farmer lost his source of fortune.
3. On the way to California, Sean’s car just gave up the ghost.
Meaning: To die or stop working.
Origin: This saying came from the Bible (Job 14:10, Acts 12:23, as well as others). Ghost didn’t mean a dead person, but a person’s soul, which is thought to leave a person’s body when they die. So if somebody “gives up the ghost,” he or she stops living. If something “gives up the ghost,” it stops working.
Lots of death in this one, huh?