Friendly Skies (1933, 1965); Thrill/Victory (1875); Agony/Defeat (1864)

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Mon Dec 9 09:23:01 UTC 2002

Barry Popik wrote:

> 19 November 1933, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. SM11: A SILENT
> EMPIRE IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE:  There a visitor found friendly
> skies, flowers and men who thrive amid desolation.

Even isolated from its direct airline associations, it's the sort
of phrase that a writer might occasionally come up with. For
example, Gail Haminton in her "Gala-Days" of 1863:

"And of all beautiful things that could have been thought of or
hoped for, what should come to crown our queen of days but a
thunder-storm, a most real and vivid thunder-storm, marshalling up
from the west its grand, cumulose clouds; black, jagged, bulging
with impatient, prisoned thunder biding their time, sharp and
fierce against the brilliant sky, spreading swiftly over the
heavens, fusing into one great gray pall, dropping a dim curtain of
rain between us and the land, closing down upon us a hollow
hemisphere pierced with shafts of fire and deafening with unseen
thunders, wresting us off from the friendly skies and shores,
wrapping us into an awful solitude."

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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