phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Grasping at straws

Posted by R. Berg on April 23, 2001

In Reply to: Grasping at straws posted by christine on April 22, 2001

: I know this term to mean a desperate attempt or just trying anything without really being sure if it will work. What I'm wondering is how did this phrase originate? Any help? I have a few ideas, but I'm really just grasping at straws.

Oxford English Dictionary, quotation from "Clarissa" (Richardson, 1748): "A drowning man will catch at a straw, the Proverb well says."