Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time
(A Psalm of Life Longfellow)
Sleight of hand or legerdemain is a form of conjuring. The expression can be used figuratively to mean deceit.
Use your loaf is an expression from rhyming slang. Use your head rhymes with loaf of bread! No wonder Londoners have a reputation for being quick-witted.
Once bitten, twice shy. If someone has had a bad experience they are likely to be more wary in the future.
To get the bit between your teeth is a metaphor. A horse with the bit between its teeth is ready for action. The phrase describes strong motivation.
An old hand is an experienced person.
Win by a short head comes from horse-racing. The distance between the first and second runners is less than the length of the winner’s head.
A head for heights is an attribute of someone unaffected by vertigo. It is a requirement for certain jobs.
Dizzy heights may be social rather than physical. People rise to dizzy heights in their professions. Dizziness is a symptom of vertigo (fear of heights).
Left for love, right for spite is a saying about the reason for having a “burning” ear. The assumption is that others are talking about the person. If their left ear is burning the conversation is favourable; the right ear indicates that it is not!
Masquerading as means pretending to be. Have you noticed how weeds grow near similar plants? A dandelion may hide near a campanula or a willowherb near a golden rod. A masque (like a mask) involves disguise.
A hard nut to crack. Nut may be used to mean head. The expression may refer to a person, who is not easily persuaded. Nut meaning head also leads to the expression nutty meaning slightly mad (insane).
There’s no love lost between them – they cannot stand each other!
St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians includes a picture of how the body fits together and works as a whole. Love is also a theme. There is a passage which is frequently read during marriage services. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:13