[Ads-l] Miscellany

Mark Mandel mark.a.mandel at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 27 22:19:36 UTC 2018

Well, sort of. That use is literal, but I've never taken the idiom to imply
flames, but just "very high" in some metaphorical sense or other:

- numerical: prices, interest rates, medical readings (blood pressure...),
(dis?)approval ratings...
- emotion: Wilson's enthusiasm example; very commonly anger in a different,
implicit construction ("When she heard about their escapades, the principal
went through the roof")

Ah. Cambridge agrees:

- to rise to a very high level:
Prices have gone through the roof.

​- (*also hit the roof , informal*) to get very angry:
When I was expelled from school, my parents went through the roof.


On Dec 27, 2018 3:43 PM, "Wilson Gray" <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

Heard on local news
A fireman says to a reporter,
"By the time we got here, the flames were _through the roof_."
Is this the source of such expressions as:

When she said yes, I was through the roof!
After she had explained the concept, my enthusiasm was through the roof!
During the concert, the fumes of Teen Spirit were through the roof!


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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