“Losing my religion” is an old phrase from the Southern USA meaning someone’s about to lose their temper or reach the end of their rope.
The phrase “Mad as a hatter” was born because men who worked in the hattery industry was suffering from mercury poisoning due the substance being used in the process of hat making.
The phrase ‘pulling out all the stops’, meaning to use all the resources or force at one’s disposal, comes from organ-playing, where it means to literally pull out every knob to play all the pipes at once, thereby creating the fullest possible sound.
The origin of the phrase ‘a taste of your own medicine’ comes from Aesop’s famous story about a swindler who sells fake medicine, claiming that it can cure anything. When he falls ill, people give him his own medicine, which he knows will not work.
We say “pardon my French” after swearing because in the 19th century, English-speaking people would drop French phrases into conversation to display class, apologizing because many of their listeners wouldn’t know the language. Then people hid swear words under the pretense of them being French.
The following sentence is grammatically correct: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
The phrase “to turn a blind eye” comes from British Vice Admiral Nelson, who was blind in one eye; in one battle, when he was signaled to stop attacking a fleet of Danish ships, he held up a telescope to his blind eye, saying “I really do not see the signal,” and attacked anyway.
Every Sunday night, a 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson sits down at his computer, searches Wikipedia for the phrase “comprised of” and changes it to either “composed of” or “consists of.” He has done this 47,000 times since 2007. He has also written a 6,000-word essay on why he does this.
The phrase “The luck of the Irish” is actually meant to be offensive. It’s as if to say: “only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these fools succeed”.
Many phrases in English come from literal translations of Chinese phrases, such as “long time no see”, “no go”, “lose face” and “no can do”.