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Add fuel to the fire

Posted by Baceseras on October 10, 2007

In Reply to: Add fuel to the fire posted by X on October 10, 2007

: Where did the idiom "add fuel to the fire" originate?

The Oxford English Dictionary mentions a use of it, apparently in the metaphoric sense, by the poet and dramatist Michael Drayton as early as 1596: "My blandishments were Fuell to that fire" --- of course there may have been earlier uses in this sense, but I don't know of them.

And in the plain, or non-metaphorical, sense, "adding fuel to the fire" is a perfectly natural phrase, because that's what we do with fuel. In common parlance the phrase must be equally as old as the word itself (over six hundred years and counting).