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Legend has it that the phrase alludes to an event in midth century England in which the abbey church of Saint Peter, Westminster was deemed a cathedral by letters patent ; but ten years later it was absorbed into the diocese of London when the diocese of Westminster was dissolved, and a few years after that many of its assets were expropriated for repairs to Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Today, the feast robbing peter to pay paul idiom meaning with minimal notice, but it was widely celebrated within England in the Middle Ages. Many churches there were dedicated to the pair. All of that, combined with the robbing peter to pay paul idiom meaning English people being almost universally Christianmade it quite common to hear these names together.

The lesson of the phrase in his version, and of the poem in general, was that " only out of the savings of the thrifty can be made the wage-fund to set other men on the way to be prosperous.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford Dictionary of English. The Antiquity of Proverbs: Slang and Its Analogues. Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Law Enforcement. Dictionary of Idiomatic English Phrases.

An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English. Rob Peter to pay Paul". Retrieved January 18, The British Political Tradition. The Rise of Collectivism. The Letters of Rudyard Kipling, Volume 6: University of Iowa Press. Retrieved from " https: Use mdy dates from January Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 27 Marchat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Look up rob Peter to pay Paul in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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Although remembering idioms is not always that easy, you cannot deny that idioms are one of the more interesting parts of learning a new language. We have collected for you some of the more unusual idioms and idiomatic phrases, as well as trivia related to each of them. To make an elephant out of a fly. To exaggerate, make something more serious than it is. To Make a mountain out of a molehill.

To pull the cat by its tail. To not get to the point, to give a long-winded explanation of something that goes off-topic. To beat around the bush. Nobody really knows where this phraseologism came from and why it now means what it means. To get lost between three pine trees. To fail to understand a very simple thing. They say that this phrase was brought into the language by satirical writer Saltykov-Shchedrin, who wrote a piece about the silly adventures of some travellers.

These travellers could not only get lost amongst three pines trees, but would also use a sieve to fetch water, get their legs mixed up under the table, and forget whether a person had a head or not. Two things usually people are very similar to each other.

This phrase comes from ancient Russian times when a shoe would be made identically to its pair i. Now, of course, most shoes come with a left and a right variant! When a person tries to fix something but, in doing so, creates yet another problem. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

To shove someone behind one's belt. To beat someone to be better than them, to outdo them. According to old Russian custom, the belt was an essential part of both men and women's clothing. A person would tuck their shirt behind their belt, to keep it out of the way while they worked; skilled craftsmen would tuck their tools behind their belt - the belt became intrinsically linked with skill and ability.

There is yet another possible explanation as to how this phrase came about. After the rain on Thursday. On an unknown future day probably never. When hell freezes over; when pigs fly; God knows…. This phraseologism dates owes its origin to Ancient Rus. Slavic pagans believed in gods and often brought requests to gods.

They often prayed to Perun for rain, so as to prevent drought and bad harvest. This was the day when petitions made to Perun for rain were considered to be especially effective. Of course, these petitions were not always successful - rain did not always come on Thursday. Therefore, this phrase came about to express scepticism that something will happen.

A casual, superficial relationship. This phrase came about out of cultural etiquette. Men used to have to take off their hat to those they met who were of higher class; if they met friends or acquaintances, then they could shake hands; if they met close friends or relatives, then they could hug. To share out the bear's skin before the bear has been killed. To not be in one's own plate. This phrase came about due to a translation error. Special offers for Russian language lovers. Two boots are a pair.

Two peas in a pod. We hope that you have enjoyed learning some new and unusual phrases! Now that you know a few more idioms, why not try using them in conversation this week?