Posted by ESC on June 05, 2004
In Reply to: Whistle past the graveyard / cemetary posted by john biesek on June 05, 2004
: I am trying to find the origin / definition of the phrase "whistling past the graveyard"... I found whistle in the dark (close) but not quite. please share what you know!! thanks. john b
I'm posting this because it does mention "grave."
WHISTLING IN THE DARK -- "Be cheerful or optimistic in a situation that doesn't warrant cheer or optimism. It is a great temptation to try to cheer oneself up by whistling or singing in a dark and lonely place...The notion that one should whistle in difficult circumstances to show that one is not concerned or frightened can be found in Robert Blair's 'The Grave' : 'The Schoolboy...Whistling aloud to bear his Courage up." From "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).