Posted by Paulus on October 22, 2002
In Reply to: Food For Thought posted by ESC on October 22, 2002
: : Anyone know of the origins of this phrase? Can't find it in the archives or on other phrase sites... And it's such a common one at that! Thanks a bunch.
: FOOD FOR THOUGHT - "Something to ponder; a provocative idea. It is a classic metaphor: food is crucial for the body, and the mind works best when given things to chew on. Robert Southey wrote, in 'A Tale of Paraguay' : 'A lively tale, and fraught with.food for thought.'" From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
Perhaps another fun meaning could be a more literal one.. a sign a panhandler may hold up "Food for Thought" instead of "Will Work for FOod". He/she may or may not be successful in an endeavor like this, however, unless they have some good insight (which I've found they often do).