Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bringing coals to Newcastle

Selling, carrying, bringing, or taking coal(s) to Newcastle is an idiom of British origin describing a foolhardy or pointless action.[1] It refers to the fact that historically, the economy of Newcastle upon Tyne in north-eastern England was heavily dependent on … Continue reading

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canary in a coal mine

An allusion to caged canaries (birds) that mining workers would carry down into the mine tunnels with them. If dangerous gases such as methane or carbon monoxide leaked into the mine, the gases would kill the canary before killing the … Continue reading

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