Archives for posts with tag: Lewis Carroll

Marry in haste; repent at leisure
is a well-known saying.  The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying and Quotation traces it back to William Congreve in The Old Bachelor.

SHARPER: Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure:
Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.
SETTER: Some by experience find those words mis-placed:
At leisure married, they repent in haste.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
This is another saying, which people sometimes reverse.

Tomorrow never comes.
When the next day arrives it is called ‘today’.

Tomorrow is another day.
It is never possible to do everything in a single day.  When a day seems to have gone badly it can be a comfort to hope for a new day.  I know this is used in German too.  Morgen ist auch ein Tag.

They go at a snail’s pace.
This is an old expression which has no doubt influenced the modern one about snail mail.  As a pace is a stride and a snail only has one foot, there might have been a humorist at work the first time it was used!


Snail 
Photo credit Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grapevinesnail_01.jpg

They’ve gone for good.
Good here means ever or all time.

It’s seen better days.
Something is no longer as good as new.

Here’s your hat; where’s your hurry?
This is sometimes said when someone is trying to do something in a rush.  In this context hurry sounds like a means of transport.

Hurry up
is an instruction to do something faster.
Lewis Carroll found some far more interesting words to use in Alice in Wonderland:-

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.”

The part of a horse’s bridle, which goes in the mouth is called a bit.  Animals champ fodder.  So a person who is impatient to do something is champing at the bit like a horse waiting to set off.

I wasn’t born yesterday.
The speaker has enough experience not to be deceived.

Live to fight another day.
This comes from a proverb, which The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying and Quotation has listed under ‘Caution’.
He who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day.

Something not worth doing, or inefficiency or unnecessarily checking the same thing more than once could all be considered a waste of time.

At the eleventh hour
has come to mean at the last minute or just in time.

In Matthew Chapter 20 verses 1-16 Jesus told the story or parable of the workers in the vineyard.  The eleventh hour in the story was about an hour before the end of the working day.  You can read the whole story by clicking here.

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“Pansies are for thoughts.”

There’s a whole language in flowers.  This is part of a quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”  Pansies are some of my favourite flowers.

I wonder what’s behind that.
Is there an ulterior motive or the more recent expression a hidden agenda?

Getting to the bottom of something.
It might be necessary to ask some probing questions.

It will all come out in the wash.
This isn’t about stained clothes, but about explanations.

It isn’t all that it seems.
An explanation may or may not be forthcoming.

Little do they know.
A reaction to someone’s reported comment…

They don’t know the half of it.
…and another.

That’s stating the obvious.
That is something I am supposed to be good at!

In my opinion…
No explanation required…

…but here’s an expression I do not like at all:
In my humble opinion…

It seems to me that…
…humble people do not advertise their humility.

I speak as I find.
Someone here is stating that they do not always agree with others and perhaps that they speak their mind.

I mean what I say.
There is a memorable passage in  Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland which is worth consideration.  Lewis Carroll was a mathematician and logic is a branch of mathematics or is it the other way round?

Anyhow to get to the point

“’Then you should say what you mean,’ the March hare went on.

‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing you know.’

‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the hatter”

I thought as much
and
That’s what I thought
are ways of agreeing with the Mad Hatter or anyone else.

I beg to differ
is a way of disagreeing.

Jesus taught that it is not necessary to swear in Matthew Chapter 5 verses 33 to 37.  Verse 37 (NIV) “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

Food for thought.
Something to consider.

I’m having second thoughts.
I might be about to change my mind.

Put your thinking cap on.
Do you need a special hat to think in?  Muffin the Mule did in Annette Mills’ children’s book.