As everyone knows, last night was a blue moon. I stared at the moon for a full five minutes and it wasn’t blue, I promise you, it wasn’t. I started to wonder if I was going crazy until I read on http://abcnews.go.com that a “blue moon” is an expression that simply means it is the second full moon in a month. This occurs about once every 2.7 years.
I get it now that the moon wasn’t actually blue, but what’s up with that expression? It makes no sense to me. And, now that I think about it, many of our English expressions and common phrases make no sense.
If I’ve spoken English my whole life and I still get confused sometimes, I wonder how someone just learning this language feels. He must think we’ve all gone verbally insane! Maybe we are just more creative than we realized, after all, this language was created by us and we are the ones that use these words and phrases all the time.
Here are some popular English words and phrases to think about. What do you think?
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
A farm is used to produce produce.
What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
Why do they call it a TV set when there is only one?
English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
There is no egg in eggplant and there is no ham in hamburger.
Is it a bargain if you buy a violin, no strings attached?
A guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
When it’s after dark, isn’t it really after light?
Why is there a w in the word sword if we just aren’t going to use it?
Why do people say “bye bye” but not “hello hello?”
There is no apple or pine in pineapple.
An army chef decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Your house can burn up as it burns down.
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
You can make amends but not one amend.
He was too close to the door to close it.
The artist saw a tear in his painting and shed a tear.
And then there is the classic one we always think of, why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
Thank you to these fun sites for their cool phrases!
Thank you to these photo geniuses for their amazing photos!