What does the idiom "in public" mean?

in public is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression in public is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "in public"

Meaning

The phrase ‘in public’ is an idiom which refers to any activity, behavior, or event that is observable by anyone who is not directly involved. It implies that there is a public audience watching or listening, and the person involved has to bear the scrutiny of the public. It can also be used to describe a situation in which more than one person is involved, and thus can affect the reputation of the people involved.

Etymology

The phrase ‘in public’ is an idiomatic expression and thus has no exact etymology. It is likely a combination of two words, "in" and "public," which both have Latin roots. “In” is derived from the Latin “in” meaning ‘in or into’ and “public” is derived from the Latin “publicus” meaning ‘ open to the public.’

Usage

The phrase ‘in public’ is used to describe activities, behaviors, or events that are undertaken in the presence of the general public. It is commonly used to refer to events that are held in public spaces such as parks, streets, plazas, and other open locations. It is also used to describe activities or behaviors that are public in nature, such as speaking on stage or making a public announcement.

Example Sentences

  • I can't believe she said that in public!
  • He was embarrassed when he tripped in public.
  • The protest was held in the public square.
  • My parents never fought in public.

The meanings of the words in the "in public" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.

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