hark(en) back to (something)

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hark(en) back to (something)

1. To cause one to think of or recall something. (The spelling "harken" is actually a variant of the archaic word "hearken," which originally meant "to listen" but is more commonly used in place of "hark" in this idiomatic phrase.) That song harkens back to an earlier time in my life.
2. To have originated or begun as something. You know, our modern cell phones hark back to those old rotary phones you like to make fun of.
3. To revisit or recall something mentioned earlier. Before we get too upset, let's all harken back to the real reason we're here today.
See also: back, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hark(en) back to something

1. to have originated as something; to have started out as something. (Harken is an older word meaning "pay heed to.") The word icebox harks back to refrigerators that were cooled by ice. Our modern breakfast cereals hark back to the porridge and gruel of our ancestors.
2. to remind one of something. Seeing a horse and buggy in the park harks back to the time when horses drew milk wagons. Sally says it harkens back to the time when everything was delivered by horse-drawn wagons.
See also: back, hark, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hark back

Return to a previous point, as in Let us hark back briefly to my first statement. This expression originally alluded to hounds retracing their course when they have lost their quarry's scent. It may be dying out. [First half of 1800s]
See also: back, hark
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.
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References in classic literature ?
Well, here he was, the great man on board, in the midmost centre of it, sitting at the captain's right hand, and yet vainly harking back to forecastle and stoke-hole in quest of the Paradise he had lost.
Although still operating and providing normal and tourist services today, locomotives still evoke nostalgia, harking back to a past era, when trains hinted at a different pace of life.
Back then, NOL was ranked among the five largest global carriers - in a business harking back to Singapore's origins as an entrepot, or transshipment, port.
The CC100 Speedster Concept was billed as a fusion of the past and the future - harking back to the legendary DBR1 racing car of the 1950s - whilst also offering a glimpse of the firm's future design direction.
Harking back to the early days of modern maternity care, delivered by midwives working in London's East End in the 1950s, Call the Midwife, bears all the hallmarks of great British television.
Also harking back to my childhood and early teenage years in British India I would love to hear from anyone who went to school in the Himalayas, Simla, Dalhousie or Darjeeling.
But this was no harking back to old Labour either, rather a balanced approach designed to win back those voters Labour lost in 2010.
Some are in it more than others when you hear that there are 23 millionaires in the cabinet, yet many are harking back to wartime when we had soup kitchens.
There are a few features harking back to it, such as a painted dashboard, but this is a new attempt to net sales in a market place where image takes centre stage.
Don't for a moment think that this car is an attempt to recreate the DS because although there are a few features harking back to this famous car, such as a painted dashboard, this is a totally new and very daring attempt to net sales in a marketplace where image takes centre stage.
Neil Kinnock Peter Mandelson, right, says supporters of Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband, left, are harking back to a previous age before Gordon Brown, centre, and Tony Blair reshaped Labour into the election-winning New Labour
Home style is harking back to bygone eras this season and this clock from Dunelm Mill is a fantastic piece which will give you a flavour of the look.
SCOTTISH troubadour Ruarri (it rhymes with brewery, he likes to tell you) serves up a debut album that will soon have the nation talking, a sterling set of songs harking back to his folk club roots.
The demonstration confirms that Platel is adamant about preserving the distinctive features of French schooling like epaulement and deportment, harking back to ballet's aristocratic origins.
Ultimately, its primary effectiveness may have been as a bitter commentary on the evolution of the New York art world, its grungy Chinatown location harking back to an earlier incarnation of SoHo, home to Earth Room.