phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

A drowning man...

Posted by ESC on May 24, 2000

In Reply to: GRASPING AT STRAWS posted by ERIN MAGILL on May 22, 2000

: DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE PHRASE 'GRASPING AT STRAWS' ORIGINATED? (I THINK THAT THE PHRASE LISTED IN THIS SITE IS 'CLUTCHING AT STRAWS', BUT THERE IS NO ORIGIN LISTED FOR IT)

A DROWNING MAN WILL CATCH AT STRAWS - "A desperate person will try anything to save himself, no matter how unlikely. The proverb has been traced back to 'Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation' by Thomas More (1478-1535). First cited in the United States in 'Colonial Currency' . The proverb is found in varying forms" a drowning man will clutch at a straw; A drowning man grabs at a straw; A drowning man snatches at straws, etc. The proverb has its counterpart in other languages too." From "The Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).