What Does The Expression "beat Your Thumbs" Mean

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What Does The Expression "beat Your Thumbs" Mean
What Does The Expression "beat Your Thumbs" Mean

Video: What Does The Expression "beat Your Thumbs" Mean

Video: Rule of thumb, popular English idioms, meaning, examples 2022, December

Over time, many words in the Russian language are rethought and lose their original meaning. Often this happens due to the fact that phenomena and objects called similar terms disappear from everyday life. For example, the expression "to beat the thumbs up" today does not mean exactly what it used to be. After all, then there was a real object - a baklush, and at that time it was often used by artisans. And now many do not know what this word itself means, and the expression associated with it.

What does expression mean
What does expression mean

The modern meaning of the expression "beat your thumbs up"

Currently, the expression "to beat the thumbs up" is called an idiom, or phraseological unit. If someone does nothing, is idle, they say to him: "Stop beating your thumbs!" This expression means idleness, idle pastime and laziness. It is in this sense that this combination of words has been used by people for several centuries. And about a person who is engaged in nonsense, instead of working, chooses an easier occupation or shirks away from the case, you can say: "He beats his thumbs."

This combination of words has several synonyms - for example, lazy, messing around, or loafing around. However, in conversation or in fiction, this expression is often used to enhance the expressiveness of speech. And it immediately becomes clear what the speaker has to do with what is happening.

What did the word "baklushi" mean in antiquity?

In the old days, the word "thump" was quite common. It meant small wooden blocks, slightly rounded on one side. These items were used to make dishes (most often spoons) and other household utensils. In those days, wood was the most common material in Russia, almost everyone made something from it for the house.

Was the expression “to beat the thumbs” used in the old days?

The common expression "to beat the thumbs up" began to be used not so long ago. The very word "baklusha" in Russia was known to everyone, and therefore it was used with many other words.

There are several different versions of the origin of the expression. The most plausible is the version about the night watchmen, who bypassed the protected area, knocking on wooden chocks, beaters, which were called baklushki. This occupation was not difficult, it did not require special skills and qualifications, it just required the presence of a watchman at work. That is why, when a person is not busy with anything, is messing around at work, they say that he beats his thumbs.

Another version claims that this expression comes from the name of any shallow body of water located in the Volga region. Fish, caught in such lakes during high water, suffocate in winter from lack of oxygen. If you break the ice, she can jump out on her own. Therefore, in severe frosts, you can easily catch a lot of fish. Locals call the process of such a simple fishing "to beat the thumbs up".

But most often there is another explanation of the meaning of this combination of words. Many scientists are inclined to believe that the turn "to beat the thumbs up" previously meant the manufacture of blanks for wooden spoons and other utensils. This is an easy task that does not require special skills and knowledge. Even a 10-year-old child could easily cope with such a matter. Often people laughed at such work, and therefore in modern language the expression has passed in precisely in this sense.

How in the old days there was a process of beating backlash

However, this job was not easy enough to be considered idleness. Of course, in order to split a log into several lumps, you don't need much intelligence. But it was also necessary to clear the log from bark, growths, slabs, round it off on one side.

In addition, it was important to choose a certain tree (usually linden or aspen was used), from which it is most convenient to carve wooden spoons.And the very process of making thumbs up did not end there at all. The prepared chock was then hollowed out with a special adze, making a depression for the spoon.

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