What’s in a word?

Those words stuck with me because I enjoy idioms and finding out the etymology of words.

Spur of the moment — in great haste, referring to the use of spurs to urge a horse to move.

Above Board — a gambling term from the 17th century derived from card playing when cards had to be above the table in view. 

Underhand — the opposite of above board.

Aftermath — from the 17th century it means the result or consequence of something. In the 1500s it was called aftermowth and meant the second mowing of summer grass.

Ahead of the curve — became popular in the 1980s in business circles  referring to a graph and being ahead of trends or in the forefront.

Baloney — means rubbish or nonsense. Two theories are that it came from the Irish immigrants word blarney. Second, it’s Italian based on cheap bologna that is made of bits and pieces

Haywire — when things go wrong or out of control. In the early 1900s haywire was used to describe something poorly constructed. It was based on cheap wire that tangled easily and was used to bale hay.

Pass Muster — a military term from the 15 or 16th century where a soldier passes inspection. Now it means you undergo a review or examination successfully.

Make a clean sweep — now means to win everything but it originated with cleaning or sweeping in the 19th century.


What are some of your favorite sayings and where did the words originate from?

Here’s a video of the hawk enjoying a meal in our tree.