What does the idiom "Get a second wind" mean?

The phrase Get a second wind is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of Get a second wind.

Meaning of "Get a second wind"

Meaning

The idiom ‘get a second wind’ is used to describe the feeling of renewed energy that one experiences after feeling tired or exhausted. At the point in which a person feels as if they cannot proceed any further due to fatigue, they may be said to ‘get a second wind’ when they suddenly feel as if they are able to continue their activity. It is also sometimes used in a figurative sense to signify a burst of energy that helps a person persevere or continue with a difficult task.

Etymology

The phrase ‘get a second wind’ has its roots in the early 19th century, where it was used to describe a situation in which a runner or horse experiences a resurgence of energy at the end of a race, allowing them to finish strong. It was a literal phrase, as runners and horses often had to take a break during a race and then be able to pick up again and finish. The phrase is assumed to have been adapted and changed over time to be used in a more figurative sense today.

Usage

The phrase ‘get a second wind’ is typically used to describe a subset of situations such as when a person is feeling physically tired and needs to ‘recharge’, or when a person is feeling mentally exhausted and needs to find their focus again. It is also used when someone has been doing a task for a long time and needs a burst of energy to finish. Finally, it is sometimes used to describe someone’s ability to keep going when faced with a difficult situation or challenge.

Example Sentences

  • After hours of studying, I was so exhausted that I thought I was done for the night, but then I suddenly got a second wind and managed to finish my work.
  • After months of searching for a job, I was ready to give up, but then I got a second wind and finally managed to find some leads.
  • I was running the marathon and thought I wouldn't be able to finish, but then I got a second wind and managed to complete it.

The meanings of the words in the "Get a second wind" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.

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