Origin of phraseological units Prepared by Mr Raimjonov and Miss Ashirova

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Origin of phraseological units Mr Raimjonov and Miss Ashirova

Origin of phraseological units

Prepared by Mr Raimjonov and Miss Ashirova

The consideration of the origin of phraseological units contributes to a better understanding of phraseological meaning. According to their origin all phraseological units may be divided into two big groups:

  • Native
  • Borrowed

The main sources of native phraseological units are:

  • 1) terminological and professional lexics, e.g. physics: center of gravity
  • 2)British literature, e.g. the green-eyed monster — 'jealousy"
  • 3) British traditions and customs, e.g. baker's dozen — 'a group of thirteen'.
  • 5) historical facts and events, personalities, e.g. as well be hanged {or hung) for a sheep as a lamb — 'something that you say when you are going to be punished for something so you decide to do something worse because your punishment will not be any more severe'.
  • 6) phenomena and facts of everyday life, e.g. carry coals to Newcastle — 'to take something to a place where there is plenty of it available'.


  • the Holy Script, e. g. the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing — 'communication in an organization is bad so that one part does not know what is happening in another part'; the kiss of Judas — 'any display of affection whose purpose is to conceal any act of treachery'
  • 2) ancient legends and myths belonging to different religious or
  • cultural traditions, e.g. to cut the Gordian knot — 'to deal with a
  • difficult problem in a strong, simple and effective way'
  • facts and events of the world history, e.g. to cross the Rubicon — 'to do something which will have very important results which cannot be changed after'.
  • hosed — 'to have completed something successfully' (Australian);
  • 5) other languages (classical and modern), e.g. second to none —
  • 'equal with any other and better than most'

Some more examples

  • let the cat out of the bag — 'reveal a secret carelessly or by mistake'
  • ); every dog is a lion at
  • home — 'to feel significant in the familiar surrounding'
  • ; be home and hosed — 'to have completed something successfully'

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