Word Origin Comics: All Lit Up and Nowhere to Go

Word Origin Comics: All Lit Up and Nowhere to Go
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.

---- Edna St. Vincent Millay, "A Few Figs from Thistles", 1920

Burning the candle at both ends? The expression entered English in the 17th century, when candles were an expensive but necessary form of household lighting. The only reason one might do that is to gain a little extra light. But to burn a candle at both ends requires that you hold it horizontally, which causes the wax to drip and also uses up the candle too quickly. Are you, like the candle also burning yourself out too quickly for a brief moment of whatever?



Follow Larry Paros @

Before You Go

Popular in the Community