Month: June 2017

champing at the bit

To show impatience or burst with energy to get going.  This phrase refers to the tendency of some horses, when impatient or nervous, and especially if being held back by their riders, to chew on the bit, often salivating excessively. This behavior may be accompanied by head-tossing or pawing at the ground. Because such behavior was most often seen in…

begging the question

I always wondered what this phrase means exactly, and now I know. And still don’t like it. It comes down to us through Aristotle and, originally, meant something close to a type of circular reasoning. It was used in formal debate in which the defending party asserted a thesis that the attacking party attempted to refute by asking yes-or-no questions…