the staff of life


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to the staff of life: Bread is the staff of life

the staff of life

Some critical necessity or basic staple. Said especially of staple foods like bread or rice. We want our employees to know that respectful discussion and debate are the staff of life around here. The widespread infection of potatoes—the staff of life in Ireland at the time—caused a nationwide famine that killed over a million people.
See also: life, of, staff

staff of life

A staple or necessary food, especially bread. For example, Rice is the staff of life for a majority of the earth's people. This expression, which uses staff in the sense of "a support," was first recorded in 1638.
See also: life, of, staff

the ˌstaff of ˈlife

(literary) a basic food, especially bread
See also: life, of, staff

staff of life, the

Bread; sometimes, by extension, any essential food. Understandably this term originated in the Bible (“the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread,” Isaiah 3:1). However, it was not until the eighteenth century that the staff of life was definitively identified with bread (prior to that it had often been corn, the British term for wheat). “Bread, dear brothers, is the staff of life,” wrote Jonathan Swift (A Tale of a Tub, 1704), and so it has remained.
See also: of, staff
References in periodicals archive ?
But the staff of life for the Indian now, he said, is no longer the buffalo, it is education.
Carbonated beverages are the staff of life in the United States.
"Maybe the idea that bread is the staff of life has something to do with it," McReynolds ventures, with a bemused shake of his head.
Eager to combine her skills in photography with a growing social conscience, her partnership with Luce in 1936 provided just the outlet, and Bourke-White became one of four photographers on the staff of Life. The magazine took a human-interest angle, and Bourke-White's first assignment, in October, 1936, was to photograph the construction of the Fort Peck Dam in New Deal, Mont.
At the Riddings, near Atherstone, bread is the staff of life for Sutton Coldfield's Mick Phillips whose bread-only bait has brought him a string of recent successes at the north Warwickshire venue.
Water--not bread--should be The Staff of Life, and the citizens of Plaistow might strongly agree.
This sort of stuff is the staff of life to newsletter editors.
For instance, as many Asian Christians declare, "Rice"--not bread--"is life." While bread has been the staff of life for cultures in which the Judeo-Christian message began and developed, to Asians the bread of life is a foreign concept.
Wheat today is synonymous with bread, but before it became the stuff of the staff of life, people grew an ancient form known as einkorn.
In addition to fiction he wrote essays and plays and published two volumes of memoirs, Livets ax (1991; "The Staff of Life" or "Gleanings from Life") and Agnar (1992; "Chaff").
Eggs signify creation, flour is said to be the staff of life, salt is for wholesomeness and milk symbolises purity.
And while some purists may turn their noses up at naan, chapatis, ciabatta and focaccia, I'm putting my dough on people realising there's more to the staff of life than sliced white.
Thank you as well to the staff of Life Care Center of Auburn for their professional and caring treatment of Fr.
* Each of the pancake's ingredients has special Lenten symbolism: Flour is the staff of life; milk is innocence and purity; salt is incorruptibility; and eggs symbolise creation.