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ashes to ashes, dust to dust
A line from the Book of Common Prayer, commonly used in funeral services. It refers to the human body returning to the earth after death. The priest stood over the casket and said, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," as he concluded the service.
be in sackcloth and ashes
To behave in a way that shows one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been in sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. The former CEO is spending his days on a private island. He's hardly in sackcloth and ashes after defrauding customers out of millions of dollars, is he?
be raking over the coals
To be dwelling on something unpleasant. Primarily heard in UK. Yeah, you made a mistake, but it's one we can easily fix, so stop raking over the coals.
clash of the ash
1. In the sport of hurling, the sound of opponents' hurleys (long paddle-like sticks, made from ash wood) striking each other. Primarily heard in Ireland. It was an intense match, and the fierce clash of the ash could be heard ringing through the pitch.
2. By extension, a contest between two hurling teams. Primarily heard in Ireland. Fans are gearing up for spectacular clash of the ash this Saturday afternoon.
dust and ashes
Something that promises pleasure or fulfillment but results in disappointment or disillusionment. The phrase is used in the Bible to describe the unpleasant taste of an appealing-looking fruit. She was a shopaholic until she realized that material possessions are nothing but dust and ashes.
get (one's) ashes hauled
slang To engage in sexual activity, especially intercourse; to achieve sexual release or gratification. Also phrased as "haul (one's) ashes." After six months at sea, everyone onboard was anxious to get their ashes hauled.
haul (one's) ashes
1. To leave or depart, especially with great haste. I'm going to break your nose if you don't haul your ashes out of here!
2. slang To engage in sexual activity, especially intercourse; to achieve sexual release or gratification. Also phrased as "get (one's) ashes hauled." After six months at sea, I was quite anxious to haul my ashes!
in sackcloth and ashes
Behaving in a way that shows one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been in sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is stay in sackcloth and ashes.
put on sackcloth and ashes
To act in a way that's intended to show one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been putting on sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is put on sackcloth and ashes.
rake over the ashes
To revisit, bring up, or spark the memory of something that happened in the past, especially something unpleasant. Now, now, there's no need to rake over the ashes, that disagreement we had happened a long time ago.
rise from the ashes
To emerge renewed, revitalized, or reborn as something different following some total destruction or ruin. A reference to the mythical phoenix, a bird that in many stories bursts into flames upon its death, being born again among the ashes. Over the next few years, a new tower rose from the ashes of the heinous attack, standing as a monument of the country's strength and pride. The company quietly faded into obscurity following its bankruptcy in the late '90s, but now that it has been purchased by the billionaire CEO, it has begun rising from the ashes like the phoenix.
rise like a phoenix from the ashes
To emerge from a devastating situation renewed, revitalized, or reborn. In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix bird would burn itself on a pyre and then rise anew from the ashes every 500 years. After his startup company went bankrupt, he vowed to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Now, his new company has a $20 million valuation. Carly is feisty—she'll rise like a phoenix from the ashes of her failed marriage. The country has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of this devastating civil war.
sackcloth and ashes
Penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. The phrase originates from an ancient tradition of wearing sackcloth as a show of repentance, and is typically accompanied by verbs like "wear." Darren has been wearing sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is stay in sackcloth and ashes.
turn to ashes in (one's) mouth
To become sickeningly disappointing; to go from being a source of joy or hope to one of despair or anger. The joy of our wedding turned to ashes in my mouth as her cruel nature soon began bubbling to the surface. The hope we had turned to ashes in our mouths as it became increasingly clear that the president wouldn't uphold any of his campaign promises.
wear sackcloth and ashes
To act in a way that shows one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been wearing sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is wear sackcloth and ashes.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
rise from the ashes
Fig. [for a structure] to be rebuilt after destruction. The entire west section of the city was destroyed and a group of new buildings rose from the ashes in only a few months. Will the city rise again from the ashes? No one knows.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
rise from the ashes
Emerge as new from something that has been destroyed, as in A few months after the earthquake large sections of the city had risen from the ashes. This expression alludes to the legendary phoenix, a bird that supposedly rose from the ashes of its funeral pyre with renewed youth.
sackcloth and ashes
Mourning or penitence, as in What I did to Julie's child was terrible, and I've been in sackcloth and ashes ever since . This term refers to the ancient Hebrew custom of indicating humility before God by wearing a coarse cloth, normally used to make sacks, and dusting oneself with ashes. In English it appeared in William Tyndale's 1526 biblical translations (Matthew 11:21), "They [the cities Tyre and Sidon] had repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
be raking over the coalsor
be raking over the ashesmainly BRITISH
If someone is raking over the coals or is raking over the ashes, they are talking about something that happened in the past which you think should now be forgotten. Yes, we made mistakes in the past, but let us not waste time raking over the coals when there is hard work to be done. Why must we keep raking over the ashes, causing distress to so many people?
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
turn to ashes in your mouthbecome bitterly disappointing or worthless.
This phrase alludes to the Dead Sea fruit, a legendary fruit which looked appetizing but turned to smoke and ashes when someone tried to eat it. The fruit are described in the Travels attributed to the 14th-century writer John de Mandeville .
1995 Guardian Those who marvelled at the phenomenal climbing feats of Pedro Delgado in the 1988 Tour found words such as ‘heroic’ and ‘Herculean’ turn to ashes in their mouths during the probenecid (a masking agent) scandal.
dust and ashesused to convey a feeling of great disappointment or disillusion about something.
Often found in the fuller form turn to dust and ashes in your mouth , the phrase is used in the Bible as a metaphor for worthlessness, for example in Genesis 18:27 and the Book of Job 30:19. It derives from the legend of the Sodom apple, or Dead Sea fruit, whose attractive appearance tempted people, but which tasted only of dust and ashes when eaten.
rise from the ashesbe renewed after destruction.
In classical mythology, the phoenix was a unique bird resembling an eagle that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert. After this time it burned itself on a funeral pyre ignited by the sun and fanned by its own wings and was then born again from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle of life. The simile like a phoenix from the ashes is used of someone or something that has made a fresh start after apparently experiencing total destruction.
in sackcloth and ashesmanifesting grief or repentance.
In the Bible, the wearing of sackcloth and the sprinkling ashes on your head were signs of penitence or mourning.
1999 Athletics Weekly It was their first focal point, the moment of truth when their season could blossom further in Seville or end in sackcloth and ashes.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
rake over the ˈashes/the ˈpast(informal, disapproving) discuss with somebody unpleasant things that happened between you in the past: When they met each other again, ten years after the divorce, they both tried hard not to rake over the past.
ˌrise from the ˈashesbecome successful or powerful again after defeat or destruction: Can a new party rise from the ashes of the old one?This idiom refers to the story of the phoenix, a mythological bird which burns to death and then rises from the ashes to be born again.
put on, wear, etc. ˌsackcloth and ˈashesbehave in a way that shows that you are sorry for something that you have done: Look, I’ve said I’m sorry! What do you want me to do — put on sackcloth and ashes?This comes from the Bible. People wore sackcloth (= a rough material) and put ash (= the grey powder left after something burns) on their face and hair to show that a person they loved had died or that they were sorry for something they had done.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
sackcloth and ashes, to be in
To be penitent or contrite; in a state of repentance. This term alludes to the ancient Hebrew custom of donning a coarse, dark cloth from which sacks were made and dusting oneself with ashes to signify one’s humility before God. It is mentioned in the Bible: “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). The term may be obsolescent.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer