Posted by Bruce Kahl on November 09, 2001

In Reply to: Of... posted by ESC on November 09, 2001

: : : : : : : A new lease on life seems to make sense, suggesting that life is once again yours to occupy, like a property. Why then is it always quoted as a new lease of life? Any sources, folks?

: : : : : : Never heard "of" over these past 58 years. Always "on."

: : : : : And that was my initial reaction too. I was prepared to say I've only heard "new lease on life" and that "of" was just plain wrong. It just goes to show, you never can tell. Maybe it is "on" in the U.S. and "of" elsewhere? Here's what I found:

: : : : : NEW LEASE OF LIFE - "Renewed health and vigour, especially applied to someone who appears to gain a 'second wind' after a serious illness or change of circumstances." From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

: : : : 58? Boy, that's really OLD.

: : : Being not quite that close to the end of my current lease, I can say that I've always heard "on." I may have seen "of" in print, though, but rarely. Maybe "on" is standard in speech and "of" is the official version found in reference books.

: : In the UK lease OF life is the received version. Never seen or heard 'on' til now. what japes...

: And what does "what japes" mean?

Main Entry: 2jape
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
: something designed to arouse amusement or laughter: as a : an amusing literary or dramatic production b : GIBE