Welcome back to week 2 of A-Z! Thanks for all of those who have been visiting and any new visitors. :D Today's Idiom is brought to you by the letter H.
1. Read the handwriting on the wall, Chris! This is a sign that we shouldn't be doing this!
Meaning: a sign that something bad is going to happen; a warning of danger or trouble.
Origin: This idiom originated in the Old Testament of the Bible. The King of Babylonia had a vision in which he saw a mysterious message written on the palace wall: “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.” Daniel was sent for to explain the meaning of the strange words. When he arrived, he told the king that it was a warning that his kingdom would be conquered. In time the prophecy came true. Today we say that you can read or see the “handwriting on the wall” when you can see signs that misfortune is coming.
2. When speaking to Courtney, handle the subject of summer vacation with kid gloves.
Meaning: to treat gently and carefully.
Origin: Kid gloves are made from the smooth hide of a young goat and gentle to the touch. If you handle anything (like a vase) or anyone (like a moody husband) with kid gloves, you’re being careful or gentle. The last thing you want to do is break the vase or anger your husband. You’re making every attempt to avoid all possible problems.
3. You have to do what the head honcho tells you if you want to keep your job.
Meaning: the person in charge; the chief, boss, leader.
Origin: The Japanese word hanchu means “squad leader” (han=squad, chu=chief). During the Korean War (1950-53) American soldiers changed the spelling to honcho and added “head,” probably because the alliteration made it a more catchy phrase. Today, a head honcho is the principal of a school, the owner of a business, or anyone in charge.