Dead as a doornail….just how dead is it?


front door detail-1My Phrase for the day is “dead as a doornail” which brings to mind “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. But in fact, the saying is much older than that,  from the 14th century. There’s a reference to it in print in 1350, a translation by William Langland of the French poem Guillaume de Palerne:
“For but ich haue bote of mi bale I am ded as dorenayl.”

Langland also used the expression in the much more famous poem The Vision of William Concerning Piers Plowman, circa 1362:
Fey withouten fait is febelore þen nouȝt, And ded as a dore-nayl.
[Faith without works is feebler than nothing, and dead as a doornail.]

For the whole citation see: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/as-dead-as-a-doornail.html

Advertisements

One thought on “Dead as a doornail….just how dead is it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s