Eat, in phrase and fable

MEANDER #4 Saturday 3 June 2017 Flesh out the word “eat” in a phrase and you get quite a literary feast.

I’ve taken selection of “eat” phrases from The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Wordsworth Editions, 1994).

To eat its head off. Said of an animal (usually a horse} that eats more than it is worth, or whose work does not cover the cost of its keep.”

To eat one’s heart out. To fret or worry excessively; to allow grief or vexation to predominate and tincture all one’s ideas, and absorb all other emotions.”

To eat one’s words. To retract in a humiliating manner; to unsay what you have said.” I’ll have to muse on that one, as also on humble pie.

To eat up into the wind. A sailing-ship expression meaning to make good progress windward.” That’s an expression friends Stanley and Marlene Kropf eat many days on the Puget Sound in Washington State.

To eat well. To have a good appetite. It eats well means that what is eaten is agreeable. To eat badly is to eat without appetite or too little.”

To eat humble pie. To come down from a position you have assumed and to be obliged to defer to others, to submit to humiliation. Here ‘humble’ is a pun on umble, the umbles being the heart, liver, and entrails of the deer, the huntsman’s perquisites. When the lord and his household dined off the venison on the dais, the huntsman and his fellows took lower seats and partook of the umbles made into a pie.”

And this thought-provoking entry on just the word “eat”:

Eat. To eat together was, in the East, a sure pledge of protection. There is a story of a Persian grandee who gave the remainder of a peach which he was eating to a man who implored  his protection, only to find that his own son had been slain by this man. The nobleman would not allow the murderer to be punished, but said, ‘We have eaten together; go in peace.'”

Time dedicated to family and friends

We’ve spent good time with family and friends this week. Sunday, returning home from Ontario with Dean and Gwen Preheim-Bartel. Monday and Friday with Marty’s siblings. Saturday with friends Ken Seitz and Audrey Metz from Harrisonburg, Virginia.

One thing we did amidst much talk and laughter and games was, you guessed it, eat. Pork burgers on the grill at Mary and Gerald Miller’s cottage on Oliver Lake. Lunch at the Steelyard Coffee Café in Elkhart. And lunch Marty fixed for today with Ken and Audrey. The precious thing about getting together is the opportunity to really eat up the experience, finding sustenance for body, mind and soul.

Audrey Metz and Ken Seitz, visited folks in northern Indiana on their way home from a trip by train to California.

Epic Art Adventures: Sculptures and Quilt Gardens in Elkhart County



Brother-in-law Gerald Miller reads over the shoulder of “inner World, Outer World” at Wellfield Botanic Gardens. The newspaper is The Elkhart Truth from nine years ago with an account of the development of the Wellfield Gardens.
Siblings Doris Mast, Marty, Richard Mishler and Mary Miller pose with Mama Bear and her two cubs in Wellfield Botanic Gardens.
Christiana Creek runs through it. The wellfield is the source of the major part of water for the city..

What does Seward Johnson have to show about eating? Sculptures about food that we have yet to view include “Wine Food and Thou,” “”Just a Taste,” “Relish, Too?,” “Latte,” and “Yum, Yum.” Outside Cook’s Pizza in Wakarusa is a sculpture of a man wiping his face, entitled, “Hot Weather.” Cool.

Feast Day: Whit Sunday

Tomorrow is Whit Sunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter, also called Pentecost. The day marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. It has been observed as a day for baptisms and we will have such a baptism for a couple at church tomorrow. We’re encouraged to wear the flame colors of red, orange and yellow. Every Sunday is a feast day. Praise God!

Canada geese get to feast., too.

May you be sustained in every human and divine encounter, renewed, refreshed, restored.




3 thoughts on “Eat, in phrase and fable

  1. Thanks, John. Happy Whit Sunday! Ginger and I will be wearing red today for our Lutheran service. The Seward Johnson sculptures look interesting. I am glad they will be there until October…maybe we will get to see them and you sometime this summer.

    Monty & Ginger

    My iPad says that a smile always increases your Face Value!



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