No idea but...

Posted by Masakim on November 13, 2001

In Reply to: No idea but... posted by Bruce Kahl on November 13, 2001

: : : I would like to know the origin of the phrase
: : : "No answer came the stern reply"

: : It's quite similar to a line from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven":
: : '...Stern Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure - / That sad answer, "Never - nevermore."'

: Maybe Lewis Carroll from "Through the Looking Glass":
: "But answer came there none."

: Nigel Rees (author of "Phrases and Sayings", Bloomsbury, and "As We Say in
: our House", Robson) writes
: "I have come to the conclusion that it is NOT a quotation but just a
: popular catchphrase, known since the 1930s at least."

Nigel Rees also writes:
*'no answer' came the stern reply!* ironic comment on the fact that no one has replied or said a word. Known by the 1930s but in various forms, including: *'No answer, no answer' came the loud reply* and *'shrieks of silence' was the stern reply*. If these are quotations, the original source has not been identified. (_Dictionary of Catchphrases_, 1995)