phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

To hold someone's feet to the fire

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 16, 2006

In Reply to: To hold someone's feet to the fire posted by Smokey Stover on April 12, 2006

: : : \ I wonder where this phrase comes from: to hold someone's feet to the fire.

: : : Thanks in advance for any comments.

: : : RK

: : From torure.

: Torure is one of those islands in the eastern Pacific, likely to be inundated and disappear as a consequence of global warming. SS

Now that Bob and I have had our fun... "Holding someone's feet to the fire" is usually said of politicians (the someone). Holding their feet to the fire means constantly reminding them of their campaign promises and the duties of their office. These reminders may be a form of torture, but the point is that by keeping their feet to the fire we make sure they won't forget.

Sometimes it's better if they DO forget their campaign promises. When George H.W. Bush (father of Dubya) ran for President in 1988, his campaign slogan was "Read my lips! No new taxes!" Since the American electorate consists largely of selfish, greedy sociopaths, Bush won. But things bite back, and it turned out that new taxes were badly needed. Bush caved in to the needs of the republic and raised taxes. In the next election his campaign slogan came back to haunt him. (No good deed goes unpunished.) ░ SS ░