Posted by Baceseras on February 29, 2008 at 18:34:
In Reply to: Stinks to high heaven posted by R.R. Chew on February 29, 2008 at 11:13:
: What is the derivative of, and meaning of "stinks to high heaven". To me, as it has come down through family, it means "stinking" or "smelling" of a suspicion - you be the judge - of high church i.e Anglican, but particularly Roman Catholic, doctrine, dogma, or "motive".
Nothing of the sort. "High heaven" simply means "the sky". Something that stinks to high heaven has not merely a local stench but a reek powerful enough to rise into the sky. The phrase is properly used to characterize enormously corrupt practices; or, with exaggerated indignation, it's applied to lesser offenses.