phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: 11th hour

Posted by ESC on February 07, 2003

In Reply to: 11th hour posted by Safari on February 07, 2003

: What is the origin of the phrase "the 11th hour"?

This reference says it is from the Bible.

ELEVENTH HOUR - "Late; shortly before an anticipated event. Matthew's parable of the laborers in the vineyard (20: 2-16) has the men hired at the eleventh hour being paid as much as the ones hired early in the morning, even though the eleventh-hour people only worked for an hour. From this sense of being barely in time to receive some benefit comes the concept of time running out." " From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).