Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Dead Expressions (No, it's not morbid! It's Thursday 13)


On Tuesday, I talked about the phrase "dead to rights," when and how it came about.  To refresh, around the time the phrase was coined, the word dead actually meant full or complete.  That makes a lot of these phrases make more sense!

1.  dead to rights - you can read about that here.  Completely in proper order

2.  dead stop - a complete stop

3.  dead wrong - completely wrong

4.  dead end - the road has completely ended

5.  dead serious - completely serious, not kidding around

6.  dead silence - complete and utter silence

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7.  dead heat - a race or competition that ends in a complete tie

8.  dead broke - completely out of money

9.  dead set against something - completely against

10. dead weight - the heavy weight of something or someone inert

11. dead drunk - completely drunk

12. deadbeat - totally fails to pay personal debts or expenses.

13. dead-end job - a job with no future, completely going nowhere

How fun was that?  For more fun, visit Thursday Thirteen!


  1. And then there is "Dead Head" of which I was one.

  2. Wow. Lots of "dead" there - but it's a good list! Very intriguing.

  3. Excellent list. Dead as a doornail has always made me wonder where that came from. As Charles Dickens said, you'd have thought a coffin nail would be the deadest piece of ironmongery, not a door nail.

    1. I didn't think of that one, but you're so right! And it's such a common expression. So I read about it, and it's been around since the 1300's. It refers to a process they used to make the nails stronger for the doors before screws were invented. It was often used, in of all things, poetry.

  4. Interesting! I’m not ready to be dead as a doorknob.


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