just like that . . .

brogine
Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:41 pm

just like that . . .

Postby brogine » Mon May 02, 2016 5:30 pm

I was talking with some people and someone used this phrase - and it struck me - fortuitously, in the manner of the phrase - how delicate and elegant it is: 'all of a sudden'. I think we miss appreciating many things right in front us, knowing them by rote.
Each word, except 'a', is used in an unconventional way, to boot.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 654
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: all of a sudden

Postby Audiendus » Wed May 04, 2016 11:27 am

The origin of the phrase 'all of a sudden' is mentioned here. It dates back to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

'Sudden' could formerly be used as a noun, hence the archaic alternative on a sudden. 'Of' in 'all of a sudden' seems similar to the temporal 'of' seen in the phrases of late and of an evening.

bnjtokyo
Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:16 pm

Re: just like that . . .

Postby bnjtokyo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:27 am

Actually, it appears "all of a sudden" does not appear in Shakespeare. In The Taming of the Shrew (before 1594?), the closest is

Tranio:
I pray sir tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?
(Act I Scene 1, lns 150-1)

And in Titus Andronicus (1585?) we find
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?
(Act I Sc 1 lns 391-3)

The earliest use of "all of a sudden" listed by the ngram viewer is in the "Calendar of state papers and manuscripts, relating English affairs: existing in the achieves and collection of Venice, and other libraries of northern Italy 1202 -" In 1607, someone wrote "When they came back to Constantinople suspicion was aroused and all of a sudden, Subaggi of Constantinople to search them on the supposition that they were pirates."


Return to “Idioms”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest