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Re: Whistling in the graveyard

Posted by ESC on October 19, 2000

In Reply to: Whistling in the graveyard posted by Paul on October 18, 2000

: I was able to find the phrase, "Whistling in the graveyard," but could not find a meaning or origin. Any help?

This is as close as I can come on this one:

WHISTLE 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. Sigmund Freud, in 'The Problem of Anxiety' , had a thought on the practice: 'When the wayfarer whistles in the dark, he may be disavowing his timidity, but he does not see any the more clearer for doing so.' 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.'" "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).