The real meanings behind puzzling expressions we still use today
The common descriptor, like many other popular sayings, is one of many anachronisms that creep into everyday usage. For some reason, antiquated phrases have a way of sticking around.
“Successful terms tend to be ones that we don’t notice,” says Dave Wilton, a linguist and author of Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends, in an interview with Mashable. He also runs the etymology site Word Origins.
Have you ever stopped and wondered why you say pitch black? What does “pitch” actually even refer to? Questioning that can take you on a deeper dive in etymology.