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15.7.09

Things that go bump in the night...


Things that go bump in the night
Meaning

Frightening but imagined supernatural events.
Origin
The earliest known example of the phrase in print is in the 1918 in the Bulletin of the School Oriental and African Studies:

"To a people ... who ... believe in genii, ghosts, goblins, and those terrific things that 'go bump in the night', protective charms are eagerly sought for."

That usage suggests that the author expected his readers to be familiar with the phrase. Around the same time the phrase was incorporated into a prayer:

From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!

This was recorded in The Cornish and West Country Litany, 1926, but its quite likely to be much earlier.

Painting The Night Alarm-Charles West Cope
On the playlist..Stravinsky..Firebird

2 comments:

Rosie said...

Ooo - very scary when you are in the house alone - a couple of nights ago we heard a bump downstairs and bravely went to investigate - one of the cats had knocked an ornament from the windowsill onto the floor! :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Bonjour ma chèrie! I love the painting....exquise! Anita