If The Shoe Fits . . . Wear It!

April 25, 2023

If The Shoe Fits . . . Wear It!

Pexels Alexandra Maria 318236

Those who know me well understand my passion for “shoes” and that I am always drawn to a shoe department wherever I shop.  So when recently I overheard someone using the expression, “Well, if the shoe fits, wear it!” I was curious as to where that phrase came from and exactly what it means.  I have heard it before and I do know what it implies, but it was interesting to find the origin of when it began. 

This expression is often used when something derogatory is said about a person who then complains to a third person.  The third person, if they agree with the original negative comment might suggest, “Well if the shoe fits, then wear it.”  The expression is the American version of the earlier British phrase, “If the cap fits, wear it,” which is also still in general use today. The American version actually began being used in the late 18th century and was widely seen in newspaper articles when writers had negative comments concerning prominent officials.  Even in London, when articles were printed for the public, writers used such expressions to let readers know they were responsible for their own opinions and could draw their own conclusions about a person’s actions. 

We use so many “slang” phrases yet today but many don’t know where they came from or sometimes the true meaning of them.  And what is very interesting is that many originated in different countries.  Here are some that originated in England:

“A penny for your thoughts;” Actions speak louder than words;” “Barking up the wrong tree;” Biting off more than you can chew;” The ball is in your court.” 

The next time you either speak or hear an expression or phrase, stop to think about where it all began and what it truly means.  Some go back centuries! 

Barbara Meeting

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