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"a drop in the ocean"

Posted by ESC on August 03, 2001

In Reply to: Origin of "a drop in the ocean" posted by Ceslstee on August 03, 2001

: I need to know the origin of a drop in the ocean.. the one at this website says something about the bible(for a drop in the bucket), but I need the origin about a drop in the ocean.. could someone help me out quick?


DROP IN THE BUCKET - "Another biblical phrase, meaning very little compared with the whole. It is from Isa. 40:15: 'Behold, the nations are as a drop in the bucket, and are counted as small dust of the balance.'" From Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

A DROP IN THE BUCKET (OR SEA, OR OCEAN) -- ".The metaphor first appeared in the English translation of the Bible by John Wycliff in Isaiah ix, 15: 'Lo! Jentiles as a drope of a boket, and as moment of a balaunce ben holden.' In the King James version the passage reads: 'Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket and are counted as the small dust of the balance.' Charles Dickens gave impetus to the further alteration or expansion in 'A Christmas Carol' . In the first conversation between Scrooge and the ghost of his deceased partner, Marley, the ghost says: 'The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.' And nowadays the 'drop' may be of any liquid into any proportionately great body." From "2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions from White Elephants to a Song Dance" by Charles Earle Funk (Galahad Book, New York, 1993).

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