Thursday, July 25, 2013

Speaking of 'running dry'.

Yesterday I turned a phrase and said that Zorro had run himself dry. Well, you know me, "run dry" ran like the rapids on the Deschutes in my head for hours.

Where did this idiom come from? What did it originally mean? Who first used it?


First is it an idiom?

According to the Encarta World English after know as our 'Big Book':  An idiom is a fixed expression with no literal meaning, distinct and often colorful whose meaning cannot be understood from the combined meaning of its individual words...Zorro, had run dry.  He ran...he was dry at the moment...but those are the way I used them he had peed so much he had no pee left to pee.  I guess you could say it is an idiom.

Second what did/does it mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states:
Run Dry
1: to use up an available supply
2: to become exhausted or spent <his inspiration had run dry>

While The Free Dictionary by Farlex states: 
Run Dry
To become empty of water; "The river runs dry in the summer"
To be all used completely; "We have been told the Social Security trust fund will
run dry in a few more years because so many people will be retiring."

Finally, and here's the hard part where did it come from, and who first used it and in what context?  Well, folks...I've 'met my match', 'been stimied', 'hit the brick wall'.  I've got, zilch, diddly-squat, nothing at all.

But, here are some things that I think can run dry:  A dog (referring to staking his claim), a man (although running without being hydrated does not set a good example), a river (of course, during a drought), a pot full of vegetables (we all know how that smells), and me (who hates when there is nothing left to research.)

In closing, here are a few things I think cannot run dry.  An automobile, airplane, a boat, jet skis, lawn mower, bus, turbine engine, old steam engine trains, and lastly, all living things (eventually we would die).

What do you think can run dry, and what cannot?

What's the difference between run dry and dry run?  Well...that's a whole other idiom.

No comments:

Post a Comment