06/27/17 Grif.Net – Clichés and Idioms

06/27/17 Grif.Net – Clichés and Idioms

Where do clich=E9s =
come from? My grandfather always said, "You just do your job, =
please the boss, everyone is happy and soon enough you’re riding the =
gravy train."=A0 What is a gravy train? I didn’t know they were =
actually hauling gravy by rail. Do people gather around big mounds of =
mashed potatoes and wait for the 5:15 gravy tanker car to show =

Am working on a sermon about Moses and the Israelis leaving =
Egypt in the Exodus and stopped by the Red Sea.=A0 Real dilemma, with no =
obvious way out.=A0 Of course, WE know what happened, but I immediately =
had a BUNCH of clich=E9s race past my feeble brain. And wondered WHERE =
these came from.

Moses was “in a pickle”.=A0 (from =
Shakespeare, in ‘The Tempest’, referring to a bitter dilemma =
like brine)

Moses was “between a rock and hard =
place”. (from Odysseus’ dilemma of =
passing between Scylla and Charybdis – Scylla was a monster on the =
cliffs and Charybdis was a dangerous whirlpool =


Moses was =
“up the creek without a paddle”. (from World War II GI =
slang, gentrified version for family viewing)


Moses was =
“between the devil and deep blue sea”.
(from 1637 book on a Scottish =
regiment’s nautical experience. The ‘devil’ is a seam =
between the deck planking and the topmost plank of the ship’s side. =
Precarious position of men crouching for protection from enemy fire in =
that 20 inches of wood)


Moses was caught =
in a “sticky wicket”. (
from the sport of =
cricket, caused by a damp and soft pitch)


From the kitchen – =
Moses was “in hot water”. Moses was “in the =
soup”. Moses was “in a stew”. Moses was “in a =


From nature – =
Moses was “up a tree”. Moses was “in heavy =
seas”. Moses was “out of his =


From work – Moses =
was “hard pressed”. Moses was facing a “hard row to =
hoe”. Moses was “painted into a corner”. Moses had =
“the cards stacked against him”.


And so it goes.=A0 =
I’ve come up with a few more common ones, but maybe the Grif.Net =
readers can share YOUR region’s expression and its =


Dr Bob Griffin = =

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =