Phrases that don’t make sense

The English language is rich in words and phrases but sometimes we use phrases that although common, actually don’t make sense.

Here is a sample of phrases and I would love to hear from you by leaving a comment in the box at the bottom of the page with phrases that don’t make sense.

  • “Straight from the horse’s mouth”. Of course, we understand this to mean that the information we have has come directly from the source. This doesn’t make sense due to the fact that you can’t have a conversation with a horse.
  • “Rule of thumb”. What is the rule of thumb? Have you seen this written down and what does it refer to? We use the phrase to indicate that something is broad in its application and not strictly reliable or accurate for every occasion. In looking up this saying there is no clear explanation and if you would like to see some suggestions I found these in Wikipedia click here.
  • “I am sweating like a pig.”  Pigs don’t sweat!
  • “Beggars can’t be choosers” Of course beggars can be choosers. They can refuse to accept help if it is given. The phrase today has slightly been corrupted since it was first recorded in 1562 where it is written as “Beggars should not be choosers” which of course makes sense.

Now it’s your turn!

Please leave a comment with your favourite non-sensical sayings in the comments box below so that I can share them with my readers.


4 Replies to “Phrases that don’t make sense”

  1. As thick as thieves – a comment on their lack of IQ or are thieves bulky?
    Round the houses – wandering the streets maybe?
    Wet blanket – left the washing out in the rain?

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