Archives for posts with tag: truth

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

This quotation is from G. K. Chesterton’s A Short History of England.

Stilted describes rather stiff, formal language. As stilts are wooden posts to lift people or buildings above the ground, I imagine that stilted language is perhaps trying a bit too hard as if standing on tiptoe.

To gloss over something is to avoid going into detail or explain away. Gloss paint is shiny. The gloss in the expression derives from the Latin, glossa, meaning tongue.  The expression He could talk his way out of anything, springs to mind.  Perhaps this is a form of spin – to use a term, which has recently become fashionable.

What it boils down to is… introduces a metaphor for the central issue after all the waffle has been disregarded. When water is boiled dry a sediment of the previously dissolved mineral is left behind.

The long and short of it is . . . can be used in a similar context to the phrase above. Here the idea is whichever way you look at it…

Many a true word is spoken in jest.
This is a well-known saying. It works in two ways. Sometimes someone uses humour to convey an idea, but someone making a joke may unwittingly hit on the truth.

Spouting rubbish is talking nonsense. Spouting means gushing or flowing. Gushing is associated with a particular style of verbosity.

You don’t know when to stop!
This may apply to words or deeds.

This has gone far enough.
A useful phrase for reducing bad behaviour or spreading silly gossip.

Common parlance is a fancy way of saying everyday speech.

His bark is worse than his bite.
Someone who sounds fierce or make threats may not carry them out. The reference to dogs goes without saying.

There’s a tale behind it – nowadays we talk about back-stories. The expression may be the introduction to a long explanation.

That puts a different complexion on it. The speaker has been persuaded that a situation is different from their original impression. Complexion is usually used about the colour of someone’s face.

They’ve no notion – notion means idea.

Never let it be said… …introduces a scenario that the speaker does not wish to be spread as if it were true.

He’s got the cheek of the devil!
The devil uses lies and false promises to try to stop people doing what is right and to tempt us to do what is wrong. He has no scruples.

For my Bible reference today, I am returning to the opening quotation.

Psalm 136 is a wonderful example of the psalmist’s gratitude and thanksgiving to God.

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Truth is stranger than fiction.

Lord Byron wrote in Don Juan,
“’Tis strange – but true; for truth is always strange:
Stranger than fiction.”

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying and Quotation, the first sentence in this post is derived from Byron’s version of it.

File:Byron 1824.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Byron_1824.jpg  Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons

Doesn’t sense involve distinguishing between fact and fiction?

Keep your wits about you!
Nowadays this might be advice to be streetwise.

Use some common sense.
As a child this expression used to baffle me.  It is the sort of sense everyone should have.

You haven’t the sense you were born with.
Perhaps I was told this too many times!

Where there’s no sense there’s no feeling.
Sense (as in sensation) and feeling are synonyms.

Don’t be silly!
Did you know silly did not originally mean rather daft? It meant blessed or happy.

To do something without thinking is not always the best plan.

Neither rhyme nor reason sounds to me as if poetic licence may allow for a deviation from fact; it is usually said when something unreasonable has happened.

Nicolas Boileau in L’Art poétique is translated as saying,  “Whether one is treating a light or exalted subject, let the sense and the rhyme always agree”.  (The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations)

Some people may be wise beyond their years, although others would argue that you can’t put an old head on young shoulders (an expression I used before).

It’s easy to be wise after the event is a saying about hindsight.

See the light and
Has the penny dropped? are expressions about understanding.  The former is often used about a change in outlook, such as a conversion.  The latter is more usually concerning mundane matters.

She sees things in black and white.

Something is either right or wrong, no shades of greyAfter all the publicity surrounding a famous title, which includes those words, I recommend Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

Down-to-earth means practical.

Who on earth would…

Whatever were you thinking of?

Whatever possessed you to do that?
are three ways of expressing disbelief and shock at something, which has been done.

“Are you a wise virgin?” was once asked of a young man, who had not been brought up to know the Bible.  He was nonplussed, to say the least.

The story or parable told by Jesus can be found in Matthew Chapter 25 verses 1-13.  If you are not familiar with it, I hope you will be curious enough to click on the link or look it up.  (Free Bibles are available for the Kindle!)