I really don’t understand charities. Every year at this time, one of the costliest times of the year, everyone wants more. I bet I get about 5-10 letters a week asking for money. If I was not discriminative about who to give to, it would cost an arm and a leg to go through this season, as if it doesn’t already!
Now, really, an arm and a leg! I do not see anyone walking around without an arm or a leg or both gone just because someone had to spend an exorbitant amount of money. That may be the point. How many people would give up an arm or a leg — that’s a pretty hefty price to pay for anything.
Then, there’s “I’d give my right arm” for __________. Not really. There is no way anyone would have their right arm sawed off for any material want. Or, at least, I hope not. But, we use this idiom when we really yearn for something. It really has no meaning because the object of want is usually something that is unattainable. For instance, our 100 year old mother has passed this earth, but you will hear, “I’d give my right arm to talk with my mother again.” It means the yearning is there, but it’s an impossibility. “I’d give my right arm to win the lottery.” Really!!!
Then, take “break a leg”. Usually, this phrase is used in theatre as a performer is readying to go on stage. A stage hand may say, “break a leg”, which means good luck. There’s nothing about wanting someone to really break a leg.
There are superstitions in this world, and “break a leg” is derived from one. It is considered bad luck to wish someone good luck in theatre, so “break a leg” became a form of saying good luck. Sometimes you will hear it outside of the theater, wishing someone good luck.
While discussing arms and legs, the other one that is sometimes heard, is getting a “leg up” on something. When you a leg up, you know something that others do not know, or you have had a person help you become successful in your endeavors. This is more than mentoring, it is assuring the success of the endeavor. When you have a mentor, you have a trusted adviser, when you have a leg up, you have the help to make the success a given.
So, in the end, I’d give my right arm to break a leg with Hamilton, even though it would cost me an arm and a leg to leg up on that one!
Have a great one…
And Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays to everyone who does not partake in the Christmas scene. Not for certain I will be writing on Friday…