Idioms have been around a very long time, and from young, teachers in school have taught students to use idioms to improve their writing skills. But why?
To begin, let's take a look at the origin of idioms.
What is an idiom?
It is defined as a group of words that stringed together, form a particular meaning, of which cannot be derived by the individual words in the string alone.
The use of idiomatic language comes almost as second nature, and may even be innate, to native speakers. It represents a deep-seated familiarity and understanding of the language, together with a subconscious understanding of various sayings that have been populated in the culture. This is why the mastery of seamless adaptation of idioms in your writing and speech is strongly advocated in education.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the first known use of "idiom" was in 1575 - yet if we consider the natural adaptation of idiomatic language by native speakers, the actual use of idioms, before their official label was coined, could date back to decades and even centuries.
What would be easier to trace would be the origin of specific idioms.
Today, we are familiar with a myriad of idioms and sayings, all of which originate from a fundamental cultural belief or story. These stories provide you with a deeper understanding of the idiom and how to better adopt them in your writing and speech.
11th February is Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk Day, which is used to promote a positive mindset. Find out about the origin of this idiom, and a few others we found interesting!
Want to challenge yourself a bit? Try your hand at our little idioms activity!
Answers can be found on our post on instagram.