Many of the words and phrases we
use in our language every day have their source in agriculture.
Because most Americans are at least two or three generations
removed from farm life, these words and phrases have no meaning
to us, apart from the way we have come to understand them.
The word, "ram," for example, has come to mean
crush or impact another object, although it has its origins
in a common behavior of a male sheep, a ram. When threatened
or provoked, a mature male sheep will lower its heads and charge
into an opponent or predator.
Apple of My Eye
Way back when, people believed that the eye's pupil was a
solid object and referred to it as an apple. Eventually the
phrase "apple of his eye" took the figurative meaning
we know today: Someone who is the apple of your eye is as precious
as the ability to see.
Sowing Your Wild Oats
Avena fatua, a species of gras sin the oat genus, has been
referred to as "wild oats" by the English for centuries.
Though it's thought to be the precursor of cultivated oats,
farmers have long hated it because it is useless as a cereal
crop and hard to separate from cultivated oats and remove from
fields. Literally sowing wild oats, then is a useles endeavor,
and the phrase is figuratively applied to people engaging in
Horses / Poultry
and Eggs /Sheep /