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

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jul 1 03:03:30 UTC 2015


FWIW, I've never understood this expression to be literal. I would not 
say, for example, "I lost sleep over my employment situation" and 
wouldn't consider the possibility of insomnia as a factor in "not losing 
sleep over my employment situation." BB

> ADSGarson O'Toole <mailto:adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> June 30, 2015 at 7:59 PM
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header 
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> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: Not something to lose sleep over, but...
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> "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
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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