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Language Arts

Most Popular Phrases and Sayings

Ever wonder about the history, meaning or definition of a famous saying or phrase? Here you will find the most popular phrases and sayings and their meaning, definition and history. Find interesting facts and information on famous quotes, common idioms, and catch phrases.

Most Popular Phrases and Sayings Articles

Death and Taxes
Variations of the idiom - Nothing is certain but death and taxes - is spoken by people throughout the world. However is not known where the famous phrase originally came from. Throughout history, several historical figures have famously quoted these words in various books and writings.

Eye for an Eye
Stemming from biblical times -Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth- is still a popular phrase. Eye for an eye was defined by the idea that the punishment should fit the crime. This popular idiom is used in justice systems globally. Read on for more on an eye for an eye.

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush
The popular idiom-A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush-can be traced back to 13th century Latin use. The phrase continues to be applicable and is a still a common saying. Keep reading for more info on the popular phrase, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Doubting Thomas
Ever heard the phrase -Doubting Thomas-, or been called a Doubting Thomas? In this article we are exploring the history and meaning of the popular phrase -Doubting Thomas. The origins of this commonly used idiom trace back thousands of years.

Cry Wolf
Were you ever told as a child not to cry wolf? What does this popular saying or phrase mean, and where did it originate? Find out the definition of this popular idiom and the history behind the phrase -Cry Wolf- in this article.

Break a Leg
In this article, learn why wishing someone to -break a leg- is a popular phrase that can be traced back hundreds of years. While scholars cannot agree on the origin, it is agreed that the meaning of -break a leg- remains the best way to wish a performer good luck before a show.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity killed the cat? Really? Many of the most popular phrases and sayings, or idioms, are intended as advice for the listener. -Curiosity killed the cat- has become one of those famous expressions because it still applies to situations one may encounter today.

Graveyard Shift
Although Graveyard Shift may be commonly known for the shift a person may work, the origin of the popular term is less definite. To further our series on popular terms and sayings here on, we are exploring the possible origins of graveyard shift.

Ivy League
The popular term Ivy League is now synonymous with prestigious colleges and universities. However, Ivy League's original meaning did not start out that way. This article looks at the common term Ivy League, what it means now and where it first originated.

Rain Check
Unlike many of the most popular phrases and sayings featured in our articles here on, the meaning and origin behind the old phrase -to take a rain check- is easy to determine. -Rain check- is still commonly used although its origin dates back 100 years ago.

Rule of Thumb
As is the case with many popular phrases and sayings, it can be difficult to determine the exact origin. The definition of -rule of thumb- is one of those popular expressions. In this article we debunk and explore the actual meaning behind the rule of thumb.

The popular term scapegoat is commonly used throughout the English language, and has been for centuries. The definition behind the term is due to a mistranslation made hundreds of years ago. This article takes a look at the meaning and history of scapegoat.

Tongue in Cheek
Like with many of the popular sayings we explore on, the origin is often unknown. The popular phrase -tongue in cheek- is one of those sayings. This article takes a look at the various meanings and origin behind the popular phrase - tongue in cheek.

All is Fair in Love and War
All is fair in love and war. This is a popular phrases of our day. Movies, music, books and character plots have been written based on this concept. This article will help explain the origin and definition behind the popular idiom, all is fair in love and war.