Posted by Lewis on May 09, 2003
In Reply to: Phrase, explanation not found posted by Dirk on May 05, 2003
: : : : : Cannot find explanation of the phrase 'luke warm' - any ideas or have I got the spelling wrong?
: : : : It's a single word, lukewarm, meaning tepid, or moderately warm.
: : : The term goes back to the 13th century and is derived from Old English 'hleow' which, with various prefixes, was used to describe levels of warmth.
: : : OK, but why is this term used in relation to an emotional state? Perhaps emotional is the wrong word, but it's generally used when describing someone's feeling about a situation and infers that that person is not too excited about it.
: Temperature is often used as a metaphor for a degree of acceptance. ie, a woman being "cold" or "frigid" to ones advances , please give so-and-so a "warm" welcome, etc
Luke-warm : I thought this had a Biblical origin - perhaps that "being neither hot nor cold, God will spit you out of his mouth" - which might be from the Gospel of St Luke and thus describe "Luke warm". Also in Luke 16 it says about being one thing or another not both.
Could be wrong.