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Salt of the Earth

Posted by ESC on December 11, 2000

In Reply to: Salt of the Earth posted by ESC on December 11, 2000

: : I know this is a phrase from the Bible. However,
: : what does it mean when someone refers to an individual as being "salt of the Earth?"

: My explanation: The "salt of the earth" are the multitude of common, decent hard-working folk. "Everyday" people, unsung heroes. They are vital to our communities. (I think I just made a political speech.)

SALT OF THE EARTH - "Anyone regarded as the finest of his kind is the 'salt of the earth.' The expression comes from Matthew 5:13, where Jesus, speaking to his disciples, says: 'Ye are the salt of the earth.Ye are the light of the world.'" From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). A second reference is closer to what I think the phrase means: "A valuable person or group of people; people on whom one can relay. Salt has always been one of the most basic and essential of human needs. The saying is in the Bible." From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, Random House, New York, 1985).