Grasping at straws

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11 comments on this post.
  1. Claire Murphy:

    Actually from Sir Thomas More, in 1534 “a drowning man will catch at straws”

  2. To Accomplish What? | More: Love. Life. Action.:

    […] of came out when I was typing. I was immediately unconvinced that this was even a real saying, but The Word Detective put my mind at […]

  3. Barry:

    Like a fat lady in a milkshake shop, I was grasping at straws!

  4. doris moretti:

    My situation was becoming more desperate, and I was grabbing at straws to try prove my innocence.

  5. Grasping At Straws (Why You Can’t Get In) — S. Anthony Iannarino:

    […] This is simply grasping at straws. […]

  6. Dwight:

    The 1534 quote from More is: “A man in peril of drowning catchest whatsoever cometh next to hand… be it never so simple a stick.” He never mentioned or used the word “straw” in his writings, which were always monumentally more colorful than the citation, “a drowning man will catch at straws.”

    For more on this topic read here.

    Thanks for all your hard work, Word Detective!

  7. Janis:

    There is no logic in your metaphor, misuse of the meaning of the phrase, you miss the point. Re-phrase your phrase, please.

  8. Andy:

    You were grasping at straws when you wrote that rebuttal.

  9. R. Springfield:

    On a whim i googled the phrase and found your site. I was flattered to find out your definition is the one i had been thinking of. Thanks

  10. Butterface:

    Your mom was grasping at straws.

  11. Grasping at straws | The Time Before:

    […] desperate, perhaps futile attempt at avoiding destruction.  Google provided the answer, of course. The Word Detective gives the following: “Grabbing at straws” (or “grasping,” today the more common form) […]

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