Month: May 2019

a feather in your cap

A “feather in your cap” is a symbol of honor and achievement and has been so regarded in a number of cultures. Using the phrase figuratively has been common in the UK since the 1700s. Richard Hansard, English writer and traveler, recorded it in his Description of Hungary, 1599: “It hath been an antient custom among them [Hungarians] that none…

hit the nail on the head

To hit the nail on the head means to come up with the perfect solution to a problem, or to express a thought with precision.  If you’re a carpenter, you know that missing the nail and striking the wood will damage the wood. The perfect solution, of course, is to hit the nail squarely and drive it home. The origin…

lose your marbles

When you lose your marbles, you’ve lost your mind, or gone insane, or part of your brain is missing. In any case, your mind isn’t functioning as it should. This American phrase arose in the late 1800s, probably from the game of marbles, which was common at the time. To play was always to run the risk of losing all…