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Put to?

Posted by Lotg on January 19, 2004

In Reply to: Put to shame posted by ESC on January 19, 2004

: : I did a search in the Phrase Thesaurus for "exposure" and this phrase "Put to shame" came up.

: : What does "Put to shame" have to do with "exposure"?

: : Is it like exposing a person and then letting everyone know about it? E.g. His dodgy dealings were exposed and his company was put to shame??

: My understanding of the phrase "put to shame" is to outdo or best someone. "Her baked goods put the rest of ours to shame."

Either use seems correct to me. The essential word here is 'shame'. In the 'dodgy dealings' example, the exposure of same has shamed the company. In the 'baked goods' example it's more tongue in cheek, suggesting that the losing bakers should have been ashamed of their product as it simply doesn't come up to she required superior standard.

However, I too am curious to know why the phrase 'put to shame' is so structured. Why 'put to'?