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Last Updated on 06-Jan-2016
Category: Language

Topic: Phrases

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    1. Is the phrase 'I know' just 'I think' with delusions of grandeur? (Contributed by Annie)
    2. Why is the phrase 'Its none of my business' always followed by 'but. . .'? (Contributed by Alex Petty)
    3. We sometimes hear the expression 'the distaff side' which is a slightly archaic phrase meaning 'the female of a family'. Just what exactly is the opposite of 'distaff'? (Contributed by A.S.)
    4. Why don't we say 'why' instead of 'how come'? (Contributed by Don F.)
    5. Why is 'phraseology' only one word? (Contributed by Kim)
    6. Why do people say 'God Speed'? Just how fast can God go anyway? (Contributed by Gail Applebee)
    7. Why do we use the phrase "recorded earlier"? Is there ANY other time to record something? (Contributed by James Terris)
    8. Why do people say 'fat chance' when they mean no chance? And why does 'slim chance', the opposite wording, mean the same thing? (Contributed by Nuji)
    9. How come people always say 'That’s out of line'? And how come we don't say when something is in line? (Contributed by Meg)
    10. Why do people say 'I could care less'? Doesn't this imply that they in fact DO care somewhat because they COULD care less? (Contributed by Brett Baumback)
    11. Why does 'break a leg' mean good luck in show business? (Contributed by MailBits.com)
    12. Why do people ask 'How are you'? Why don't they ask 'Why are you' instead? (Contributed by Cwelsh)
    13. Why do people say 'Now, then …'? Which is it? Now? Or then? (Contributed by MailBits.com)
    14. Why does 'knucle down' mean get to work? (Contributed by MailBits.com)
    15. Is 'status quo', Latin for 'the mess we are in'? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    16. How come the contraction for 'will not' is won't? Shouldn't it be willn't? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    17. Why isn't 'Abbreviated Coded Rendition Of Name Yielding Meaning', the acronym for ACRONYM? (Contributed by John F.)
    18. Is the statement, 'There are no absolutes', an absolute? (Contributed by Solomon Spade)
    19. Isn't the phrase 'working mother' redundant? (Contributed by Jane Sellman)
    20. Why do people say they have lost their marbles? What have marbles got to do with anything? (Contributed by Alina)
    21. How can you dig yourself out of a hole? (Contributed by UGA)
    22. Is it 'butt naked' or 'buck naked'? And if it's 'buck naked', what the heck is a buck? (Contributed by Catherine)
    23. Why do people say 'Happy as a clam'? Has anyone ever seen a happy clam? And what do they have to be so happy about? (Contributed by Shona)
    24. Why are less than graceful persons labeled as having 'two left feet'? Wouldn't two right feet be just as clumsy? (Contributed by Shona)
    25. Who coined the phrase 'coined the phrase'? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    26. Wouldn't it be cool if you had a way of hearing everyone who said a certain phrase at the exact same time simultaneously? (Contributed by Joe)
    27. Why do people say 'It hurts like the Dickens'? What is a Dickens? And why does it hurt you? (Contributed by Shona)
    28. Why do we say that something important is 'not to be sneezed at'? (Contributed by MailBits.com)
    29. Why do we say that something sub-standard is not 'up to snuff'? (Contributed by Floyd Maxwell)
    30. How come people say 'Boys will be boys', but they never say 'Girls will be girls'? (Contributed by Kim)
    31. Why do people say 'bye bye' but not 'hello hello'? (Contributed by Don F.)
    32. Why is 'Superhero' one word but 'Super Villain', two words? (Contributed by The Duke of Endor)
    33. Where does the saying 'slow and steady wins the race' come from? Isn't it always the fast ones that win the race? Wasn't the only reason that the tortoise won the race because the hare decided to take a nap? (Contributed by Valerie)
    34. Why do we say something is a 'far cry' when it is not what we expected? And how is this possible? (Contributed by Valerie)
    35. Why do some people say "Don't have a cow" to others when they offend them? Since when do humans produce cows? (Contributed by Valerie)
    36. If he who hesitates is lost, why must we look before we leap? (Contributed by Janeen Moskal)
    37. Why do we say we are 'bored stiff' when we are extremely bored? Do our bones stop moving at that point? (Contributed by Valerie)
    38. When someone is causing mischief, why do we say that they're 'playing with fire'? (Contributed by Valerie)
    39. How come when we are skating on thin ice, we usually wind up in hot water? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    40. What the heck does 'badda-bing' mean? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    41. Would you rather own a 'genuine imitation' or an 'authentic replica'? (Contributed by Richard)
    42. How did the superstition 'knock on wood' get started? Did someone say something that wasn't nice and then accidently hit a tree with their fist? (Contributed by Sierra)
    43. Why do people say 'Do ya know what I'm saying?' three or four times every sentence they speak? How can we know what they are saying if that's all they are saying? Do ya know what I'm saying? (Contributed by Janis G.)
    44. When a person wishes to be polite and says 'Excuse me', isn't that giving an order? Shouldn't they say 'Will you please excuse me?'? (Contributed by Janis G.)
    45. When offering help and we say 'would you like a hand?', what exactly does that mean? Does it mean you are going to give them one of your hands or that you are going to help them but with only one hand? (Contributed by Janis G.)
    46. Why do we say 'Mind your own beeswax'? How does that translate to 'mind your own business'? (Contributed by Janis G.)
    47. Why do some people say 'right' or 'you know' after every sentence? And why do some people say 'listen' before a sentence? (Contributed by Janis G.)
    48. Why do people say "Well I'll be a monkey's uncle"? And to make it more confusing, why do females say it? (Contributed by Janis G.)
    49. Why do people use the phrase, 'Deader than a doornail'? Isn't death a single stage event? How do you get deader? And just what is a doornail anyway? And has anyone ever seen a live one? (Contributed by Wayne Flint)
    50. Why do we say someone stuck it out to the bitter end? If they accomplished something, shouldn't it be sweet? (Contributed by Floyd)
    51. Why do some people say 'lets talk turkey' when they mean they want to talk seriously? Are turkeys that serious? (Contributed by Floyd)
    52. Why do you go 'back and forth' to town if you really must go forth BEFORE you go back? (Contributed by C.T.)
    53. If something 'goes without saying', why do people still say it? (Contributed by C.T.)
    54. When something is funny, why is it called a 'knee slapper' when you actually slap your thigh? (Contributed by C.T.)
    55. Whats with the phrase, 'Please Be Alert'? Does the world really need more Lerts? (Contributed by Jerry Jones)
    56. Are you supposed to get under a brighter bulb when told to 'lighten up'? (Contributed by J. Bland)
    57. Is 'tired old cliche' one? (Contributed by BC)
    58. Why, when someone falls, do we say they fell 'head over heels'? Shouldn't it be 'heels over head'? (Contributed by Peter Hanney)
    59. Why do people say ‘more unique’, ‘quite unique’, or ‘very unique’? Either it is unique or it ain't, right? (Contributed by Mr. Cobol)
    60. When people say, "I’m so tired it's not even funny" or "my head hurts so much it's not even funny", why would it even be funny in the first place? (Contributed by C.T.)
    61. When someone is joking, why do we sometimes say that they are ‘joshing around’? (Contributed by Valerie)
    62. Can you still use the expressions ‘everybody and his dog’ or ‘everybody and his brother’ if you don't have a dog and/or a brother? (Contributed by Valerie)
    63. Is being called a ‘fine young heifer’ by a man in his late 60s suppose to be a compliment? Or should you take offence? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    64. Doesn't yelling speak louder than words, not actions? (Contributed by Brent M.)
    65. Why do people say "Now, then ..."? Which is it? Now or Then? (Contributed by A1)
    66. Why do we tell people that they can't have the best of BOTH worlds? Isn't there only one world? (Contributed by Valerie)
    67. Why do people say "I will phone him up"? Don’t you just have to phone him? (Contributed by Stevie)
    68. Why do people say that a baby was naked as a Jay Bird? Why not a Robin? They have just as many feathers, don’t they? (Contributed by Don F.)
    69. If one man says, "it was an uphill battle," and another says, "it went downhill from there," how could they both be having troubles? (Contributed by C.Q.)
    70. Why does "closing up" a shop and "closing down" a shop mean the same thing? (Contributed by C.Q.)
    71. If someone is drunk why do we say they're three sheets to the wind? (Contributed by Kevin)
    72. Why do we say "SO LONG" when we are leaving someone? (Contributed by Stevie Duff)
    73. Is the old adage “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s take warning” true? Or is it just an old wives’ tale? (Contributed by Everyday Mysteries)
    74. Why do people never seem to have two right feet? (Contributed by Leslie)
    75. Why would you even try to get blood from a stone? (Contributed by Leslie)
    76. Why does "middle of the night" come after "end of the night"? (Contributed by June M.)
    77. Why do women tolerate "you guys" when men would never go for "you girls"? (Contributed by Ralphie)
    78. If homeboys spoke more clearly, would they have to keep repeating, "Know what I'm sayin'?" (Contributed by Ralphie)
    79. Why fight fire with fire? Why can't we just fight fire with water? (Contributed by F.W.)
    80. Is SAFE really better than SORRY? (Contributed by Sam Pittman)
    81. If necessity is the mother of invention, why do we have so much useless crap? (Contributed by Ralphie)
    82. We tell our children to sleep tight,right? But wouldn't that be uncomfortable? (Contributed by Ralphie)
    83. Why do we specify "old saying"? Is there such thing as a new saying? (Contributed by Jason L.)
    84. Why do they say 'easy as pie'? Have you ever tried making a pie? It ain't easy, is it? (Contributed by King David)
    85. Why is that when food tastes good, some people say "you put your foot in it"? If someone really put their foot in something, wouldn’t it be unsanitary? (Contributed by Katerra S.)
    86. Where is the shadow of a doubt and how can I get beyond it? (Contributed by The Vent on AccessAtlanta.com)
    87. If someone goes outside to get some air, what were they breathing inside? (Contributed by Anny)
    88. Why do people say that they were 'literally' climbing the walls"? Were they actually climbing the walls? (Contributed by Sue)
    89. They say laughter is the best medicine, right? So who came up with the phrase, "I died laughing"? (Contributed by Hal E.)
    90. You know how people say you woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, what if you woke up in the middle? (Contributed by Salena Hyde)
    91. Why do we tell people to go to the end of the line? Lines never end, do they? Why don't we say go to the end of the line segment? (Contributed by Moony)
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