napowrimo #24: find a phrase

by the Read Write Poem Staff

With words like codswallop, it’s clear that Read Write Poem member Marie Gauthier means business! Now is not the time to let your NaPoWriMo work ethic slack.

Clichés, idioms, what-have-you. As points of inspiration, you might think they’re dead in the water, but that’s a load of codswallop. Time spent investigating word origins is never time wasted. “Left in the lurch” is one example. Here’s what The Phrase Finder says about it:

There are suggestions that lurch is a noun originating from lych – the Old English word for corpse, which gives the name to the covered lych-gates that adjoin many English churches. The theory goes that jilted brides would be ‘left in the lych (or lurch)’ when the errant bridegroom failed to appear. The lych-gate is where coffins are left when waiting for the clergyman to arrive to conduct a funeral service. Both theories are plausible but there’s no evidence to support either and in fact lych and lurch are unrelated.

For our purposes, it doesn’t matter whether the derivation pans out as true or not. Your inquiries are meant to be catalytic crackers. Surely “lych-gate” stirs an idea or two!

So for today’s prompt, travel a while on The Phrase Finder website until you find the phrase or phrase origin that most interests you.

There are no hard and fast rules. The Phrase Finder has phrases from the Bible, from Shakespeare, phrases coined at sea, something for every taste. Take some notes, do a free-write or three, and see where a little word exploration takes you.

Reminders for everyone
Read the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge Kickoff post for details on how the challenge works — and how you can engage with Read Write Poem this month, no matter what your personal writing challenge is for the month of April.

Please read this page to find out how Read Write Poem’s prompt posts work. Remember that work linked from any post this month is shared in precisely that spirit: sharing, as opposed to critiquing. If you haven’t done so already, please read all the pages under About in the navigation bar.

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133 comments to napowrimo #24: find a phrase

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    June 20, 2010 | 1:36 pm

    The Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology is still in production. Selection, placement, layout and copyediting are taking longer than anticipated. Thank you for your patience. I hope to have the piece completed in July. For those who have emailed asking if they can be included, the May 7 deadline for submission of work stands. Those who met that deadline will be included. Please check the post on this site listing who I received submissions from by that date. If you submitted your work by the May 7 deadline in accordance with our guidelines and your name is not listed, send an email to info (at) readwritepoem (dot) org.

  • read write poem napowrimo anthology
    May 5, 2010 | 3:09 pm

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    *I initially said “tomorrow,” but I meant to say “Friday.”

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    April 24, 2010 | 12:05 pm

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    April 20, 2010 | 8:11 pm

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