Like soap opera, this phrase is one of those little bits of language which seems quite bizarre when you really look at it. But like soap opera, most of us don’t really look at it like that, because we’re so used to it.
And also, I think, like soap opera, it just feels right. For me I think that was because it seems somewhat classical, ancient. Maybe it’s because it makes me unconsciously think of aspects of Ancient Greek myths, like the story of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods, and Zeus’ thunderbolts.
Despite its classical feel though, the phrase is actually relatively modern, and its origin can be traced to a very specific point.
Do you like rhubarb? Its taste is a bit sharp, but it can be quite nice alongside something gentler, like custarb. It’s one of those funny words with an Rh at the beginning, when really it seems like a simple R would do fine.
First of all, if you want to know about why today is called Boxing Day, I wrote about that here last year. If you didn’t read it then, I encourage you to do so. Even if you did read it last year, why not read it again? You might have forgotten all of the details. I know I have.
If you’re looking for something new though, how about a few brief lines about that curious word playwright?