Archive for February 7th, 2011

February 7, 2011

Paint the town

Generally if you feel like painting the town you would want to paint it red so the most frequently used version of this  idiom is to paint the town red.

Pretty good start to painting the town red, pic:

The expression is casual and means: let’s have fun, let’s do something fun.

Without making this into a history lesson here is a quick summary of where the saying can from.  Let’s start with the color red, it isn’t used because it is such a jolly, happy color but because it is the color of blood and historically the idiom seemed to have referred to the kind of activity where one gos out into the streets and spills a lot of blood.

The allusion to violence and blood seem to have been lost and now the idiom refers to more or less harmless and more or less drunken foolish behavior which can include some (or a lot of control).

“Finals are over!  Let’s go paint the town red, guys!”

February 7, 2011

There is the rub

“There is (or there’s) the rub” is another idiom used to indicate that there is a problem or difficulty.  That’s the problem would be an accurate “translation” of the idiom.

This is not what "there's the rub" means, pic: © Bobby Flowers |

However, there is a second possible meaning to the idiom rather than meaning there’ the problem, it can also mean “there is the essence.”  These two meaning s are similar but not identical

The idiom dates back to Shakespeare and in his original context both meanings are implied.  However, over time it seems to have been mainly used for expressing the idea of problem/difficulty rather than essence.

If you thought about a back rub or a massage reading about this  idiom you were wrong.  It is another sports related idiom.  Rubs were obstacles in the game of bowls, which divert the ball from its true course.  Shakespeare is believe to have liked that game quite a bit and he uses Bowl-inspired” idioms frequently.

There’s the rub is an idiom that’s is perfectly acceptable in a personal and business setting.