Home    Proofreading    Proofreading for International Students    Editing    Rewriting    Copywriting    E-book conversion   
Enquiry Form    Testimonials    Blogspot    UK–US English    Contact Us   


We make words work for you

Call: +44(0)1483 836124
Email: enquiries@writeitclearly.com

WriteItClearly.com writing, editing and proofreading services


BlogSpot List

The writing is on the wall

by: Garry Pierrepont (7 January 2011)

We are told that "the writing is on the wall" for various Premier League football managers, not least Roy Hodgson at Liverpool. (However soon he is out of his job whether by sacking or resignation Mr Hodgson was still manager of Liverpool at the time of writing (7 January 2011).)

The writing is on the wall is an oft-used phrase, and it made me wonder where it came from.

Its meaning, of course as in the case of the managers is a sign of impending doom: in their case, the potential doom is that they will soon be fired from their jobs.

The phrase goes back to The Bible.

According to Nigel Rees in "A Word in Your Shell-Like 6,000 Curious & Everyday Phrases Explained", the idea for the phrase came from Daniel 5 in the Bible where King Belshazzar is told that the Babylonian Empire will soon be destroyed, as foretold by a man's writing on a wall.

Jonathan Swift used the phrase around 1720, as did Wilkie Collins in No Name, 1862. Collins quotes the Belshazzar reference.

We say it so often. Now I know where we got it from.

Views: 3620

Other articles on Communication and language and Education

Some related articles

How do you proofread hieroglyphics?   Consistency is the key   Difficulties faced by international students learning English  

BlogSpot List


Leave your comment

* Mandatory field

(choose one or use your existing username) *:
Email address (enter your email address) *:
Your Comment *:
Enter security code:

Home    Our Services    About Us    Blog    Links    Enquiry Form   

An error has occurred in script /home/writeit/public_html/config1.inc on line 9: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone.© WriteItClearly.com 2006–2022