phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Figurative language

Posted by ESC on February 07, 2002

In Reply to: Figurative language posted by Averil on February 07, 2002

: What do the following phrases mean?

: Heart of stone.
: Rock bottom.
: Gravel-voiced.
: People who live glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
: "Stonewall" Jackson.
: "Rock" music.

HEART OF STONE: Someone who is cold and uncaring. Unsympathetic.

ROCK BOTTOM: At very bottom. Like the rocks at the bottom of a river?

GRAVEL-VOICED: A husky voice. Like the person has gravel in his throat?

ROCK MUSIC A type of music. There are probably Web sites devoted to defining rock. Quotes online: "'The Blues had a baby,' the Muddy Waters song title declares, 'and they named it 'Rock and Roll.'" I thought this quote came from Little Richard. Another site agrees: "'Rhythm and blues had a baby and somebody named it rock and roll.' Little Richard." The phrase "rock and roll" originally referred to sex. As did "jazz." I'm sensing a pattern here.

STONEWALL JACKSON. Nickname for a Civil War general who stood like a stonewall before the enemy. "Thomas Jonathan Jackson lived in Lexington (Va.)from 1851-1861, while he was a professor of Natural Philosophy and an instructor of artillery tactics at the Virginia Military Institute. During that decade Jackson joined the Lexington Presbyterian church, married, bought the only home he ever owned, and lived quietly as a private citizen. In April, 1861, Jackson rode off to war. He never returned to Lexington alive. Following the first battle of Manassas, T.J. Jackson became widely known by the nickname 'Stonewall". Jackson earned lasting fame for his leadership of Confederate forces, especially during the Valley campaign of 1862. "Stonewall' Jackson died in May, 1863, as a result of wounds received at Chancellorsville. His body was brought back for burial in the cemetery on the south edge of town."

PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULDN'T THROW STONES - "Those who are vulnerable should not attack others. The proverb has been traced back to Geoffrey Chaucer's 'Troilus and Criseyde' . George Herbert wrote in 1651: 'Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.' This saying is first cited in the United States in 'William & Mary College Quarterly' . Twenty-six later Benjamin Franklin wrote, 'Don't throw stones at your neighbors', if your own windows are glass.' 'To live in a glass house' is used as a figure of speech referring to vulnerability." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

© 1997 – 2024 All rights reserved.