Idioms: put your best foot forward

We’ve talked about idioms in an earlier post.  All languages have idioms.  To understand an idiom you can’t look at each word; instead you have to know the hidden meaning!

Today’s idiom is:


When you start a new job it’s a good idea to put your best foot forward.

Don’t bother looking at your feet!  One isn’t better.

We use this idiom to say: do your best; make a good impression

The origin of some idioms is clear.  This idiom was used as early as the 1500s, but how it began is unclear.  It has been suggested it might have started because:

  • Long ago people thought one of their legs looked better
  • If a pant leg was torn or dirty, you’d want to hide it
  • At one time left was considered evil

One more thought to confuse things…

TO really have a “best” foot we’d need 3 feet.  We use BETTER when we compare 2 things and BEST when we compare 3 or more!

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