[Ads-l] Not something to lose sleep over, but...

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 1 02:59:24 UTC 2015


"The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms" dates the phrase "lose
sleep over" to the "First half of 1900s", so the 1882 citation in my
previous message (and the 1877 variant) might be useful to some
reference people.

Not sure why the phrase is classified as an idiom; perhaps the degree
of exaggeration and distortion is relevant.

Year: 2013
Title: The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
Author: Christine Ammer
Edition: Second Edition
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Quote Page 279
Database: Google Books Preview

[Begin excerpt]
lose sleep over
Worry about, as in  It's too bad the experiment failed, but I'm not
going to lose sleep over it. This expression, often put negatively,
alludes to actual insomnia caused by anxiety. [First half of 1900s]
[End excerpt]

Here is another entry in a reference book of idioms:

Year: 2006 (First published 2003)
Title: Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms
Editor: Paul Heacock
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Quote Page 381
Database: Google Books Preview

[Begin excerpt]
lose sleep (over sb/sth)
to be worried and unable to relax because of something - An asteroid
could hit the earth, but it's not something you should lose sleep
over.
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 8:40 PM, Galen Buttitta
<satorarepotenetoperarotas3 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Galen Buttitta <satorarepotenetoperarotas3 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Not something to lose sleep over, but...
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I can see it being an idiom. I would be fine using it to refer to a general s=
> ense of worry and not as worrying about something to the point of causing sl=
> eep loss.
>
>> On Jun 30, 2015, at 20:29, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>=20
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header ------------------=
> -----
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Not something to lose sleep over, but...
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -----
>>=20
>> On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 5:32 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
>> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>>=20
>>> Some references list "to lose sleep over" as an idiom.
>>=20
>>=20
>> Why? Because the phrase is not interpretable as having its literal meaning=
>
>> in the examples supplied?
>>=20
>>=20
>> --=20
>> -Wilson
>> -----
>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>> -Mark Twain
>>=20
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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