Posted by ESC on March 20, 2003
In Reply to: That poor camel's back posted by Sax on March 20, 2003
: Can you please tell me the origin and meaning of the phrase of, "The straw that broke the camel's back?" Thank you...
STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK - "In Charles Dickens' 'Dombey and Son' (Chapter 2), you will find 'As the last straw breaks the laden camel's back,' meaning that there is a limit to everyone's endurance, or everyone has his breaking point. Dickens was writing in the nineteenth century and he may have received his inspiration from an earlier proverb, recorded by Thomas Fuller in his 'Gnomologia' as 'Tis the last feather that breaks the horse's back.' (A gnomologia' is a compilation of sayings.)" From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).