I do love me a good cliché or proverb. You can have a lot of fun with them when you really work at it.
Let’s take, for example, the proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Ok, but what happened to the father of invention? Who is he? Poor Invention. Is she doomed to wander the earth forever more, seeking her lost father?
Another good one is “Has the cat got your tongue?” I don’t know about you, but all the adult cats I know aren’t even up to my knees. (And don’t even get me started on kittens!) How is a cat going to reach my tongue, let alone get it?
Then there’s “fit as a fiddle.” Ok, who decided that fiddles are physically fit? I love music (and fiddles), but fiddles have equally wide top and bottom sections. Shouldn’t they be more streamlined, like an Olympic track star?
I took a trip recently and did find out some interesting information about well-known sayings. “Room and board” comes from the fact that an innkeeper would offer you a board to lay on if you stayed overnight. “Upper crust” refers to the fact that the more important members of a household would get the upper, unburned part of a loaf after it was baked in a brick oven.
Ah, well. It’s all part of the wackiness of the English language. Happy 4th, everybody!