Sunday, April 1, 2012

B - A devil, a blue sea, a busman's holiday and buying a pig in a poke!!



Today's Idioms are brought to you by the letter B!  I went with three because I couldn't choose, but shortened the explanations.







1.  Sheila had to choose between admitting she didn't practice, or trying to fake her way through it.  She was Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Meaning:  Between two great dangers and not knowing what to do.

Origin:  In the early 17th century the heavy plank fastened to the side of a vessel as a support for guns was called the devil.  Sometimes a sailor had to go out onto this plank to do repairs to the boat.  In heavy seas he would be in great danger of falling overboard and drowning because he was "between the devil and the deep blue sea." 

2.  Karl spent his vacation installing wooden floors, then went back to his construction job at the end of the week.What a Busman's holiday!

Meaning:  spending your free time doing the same thing you do during working hours.  

Origin:  In London, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, buses were pulled by horses.  Some bus drivers loved their horses so much that on their days off from work, they would ride on their own buses just to make sure that other bus drivers took good care of their horses. 

3.  Don't Buy a pig in a poke!

Meaning:  to buy something without seeing or examining it.

Origin:  A long time ago in England, a small bag or sack was called a poke.  Farmers carried their pigs in pokes to sell at the market.  Sometimes customers were cheated, as dishonest farmers would put the runt or even a cat in the bag.  They would say they couldn't open the sack to show the customer because the pig would run away.  So if you bought a "pig in a poke" you paid for it without examining it.  This is related to the expression:  Let the  cat out of the bag.

74 comments:

  1. I actually knew the pig in a poke, but I think the busmans' holiday one was really interesting. I'm looking forward to more of these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the busman's holiday one. How nice to think of them caring so much for the horses :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was pretty sweet of them to be so caring and concerned for their horses, too.

      Delete
  3. I didn't know any of those. I learned 3 new things! :) I like the one about the horses - it's so caring. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I love to hear people are learning new information!

      Delete
  4. Hahaha! My favorite is definitely, "Don't buy a pig in a poke!"
    ScribblesFromJenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty funny. Never knew exactly what it meant, but it's pretty cool to find out!

      Delete
  5. I didn't know about the "devil and the deep blue sea" and I had only heard the "pig in a poke" one. So interesting! I'm really enjoying these!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't think I'd even heard the phrase "Don't buy a pig in a poke," let alone know what it meant lol! I so look forward to reading these posts every day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, glad you're enjoying these, sweetie!

      Delete
  7. All three of these are new to me. "Between the devil and the deep blue sea" will be a great one to share with my students.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Mandy @ The Chockboard

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my goodness! I love this as a theme for the challenge! My grandfather used to have a book of idioms and their origins and I adored it, it was so interesting! I can't wait to read your other posts :) I have a Korean flatmate who gets idioms sent to her each day or each week, as a way to learn English, I will definitely be pointing her towards your blog!

    Thank you for your comment on my post, have a beautiful monday :)

    Nikki – inspire nordic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool! Definitely send her my way! I'll be posting them all month!

      Delete
  9. Oh dear, never heard of any of these before. I do like the one about the busman. (Feels like every week of my life.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like ”between the devil and the deep blue sea,” it's so lyrical. It's so interesting to hear the origins of the sayings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really liked the way it sounded. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. Great information for sayings I've heard but didn't know what they meant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've said many of these before, but have never really known what they meant. It's fun to learn!

      Delete
  12. What a fun theme for your A to Z.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I always love to read about the origins of expressions and word. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. LOL. These sound like something my Dad would say. Wish I could think of some of the crazy one's he's used before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, if you come up with any, pass them on! ;)

      Delete
  15. This is a really interesting theme, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your posts :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh gosh, my mind went way dirty for some reason when I read your title, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  17. These are great! I'm loving your A to Z-ing posts! They are "things that make you go hmmm"

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh I love these! Just read them to my students - some had not even heard the idioms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Glad you can use them in class!

      Delete
  19. P.S. How do you get your link into your comments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I manually type out a html. If you know how, cool, if not, copy the following and take out the *s.

      <*a href ="htt*p://jayerobinbrown.blogspot.com"> My A-Z<*/a>

      Delete
  20. I love this idea of explaining the meaning and origin of terms we use and sometimes don't fully understand :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. Another informative post. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've never heard of those idioms...
    I feel like I'm missing something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am going with some of the obscure ones.

      Delete
  23. I'd only ever heard the "pig in a poke" one before - these are great :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. the one i've heard for the first is btween a rock and a hard place, same thing =)

    and i never understood the last one! thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. And yeah, rock/hard place was cross-referenced in the book I use.

      Delete
  25. Never heard of them, but glad to learn!
    And yay for showing how to link in the comments!!! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I'd rather see links in posts so I can quick click on them - so willing to spread the knowledge. :D

      Delete
  26. I only knew the busman's holiday, so I learned two new things today! Thanks...

    I'm very well known for taking busman's holidays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for learning! I take lots of busman's holidays.

      Delete
  27. Great theme! Love it. Guess you do learn something every day.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great idea for the A to Z challenge! I'm learning so much after 2 days of your posts ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and stick around. You're going to be able to learn a lot more! ;)

      Delete
  29. I've heard all of these idioms but had no idea their orgin. Thanks. Very tinteresting. Thanks for visiting me today.
    dreamweaver

    ReplyDelete
  30. 3 bountiful "B" bonuses!

    Popping in as an A to Z Blogging Challenge participant. Please feel free to visit and comment on any of my blogs as well, leaving a link to your own post, so my readers can find you too!

    All on Blogspot.com and all in the A to Z Challenge

    Heart of a Ready Writer – Bible &Devotional
    Meme Express – Daily Blog Prompts (A to Z)
    Nickers and Ink – featuring favorite classic poems from A to Z
    Practically at Home – Wait till you see what fellow writers are cited – with article links! Maybe you!
    Simply Snickers – Not posting daily in the A to Z Challenge, but inviting you to leave comments with you A to Z/NaPoWriMo poetry links!
    The Mane Point – profiling special horses from A to Z (just a few letter spots left!) –
    Working in Words – Writing How-to’s

    You can click my name/icon for links to all these blogs!
    Happy A-to-Z-ing!
    Linda Ann

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh I love this theme. I can see I'm going to learn a lot from a fellow Tucsonan! :) **Waving** from across town (or maybe you're nearby. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome! I'm from the West side, closer to Old Tucson. Waves! :D

      Delete
    2. Northwest, so not too far. :)

      Delete
    3. Nice. I work in the Silverbell/Grant area. That's Northwest...sorta. My dad lives out off Cortaro. :D

      Delete
  32. Great theme. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  33. wow! those are all new to me! thanks for the teaching!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I do during the day so this is kinds like a busman' s holiday for me doing this! Lol. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  34. I really like that first one, and the imagery involved in the sailing situation.

    ReplyDelete