What does the idiom "in the flesh" mean?

Are you using the idiom in the flesh but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the in the flesh idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "in the flesh"

Meaning

The phrase 'in the flesh' is an idiom used to refer to someone or something being experienced in person rather than through another source. This phrase often has a slightly negative connotation, implying that a person or thing is better off seen firsthand rather than through a secondhand experience. It is also used to indicate that a person or thing is more powerful or more real when seen firsthand. In some contexts, this phrase can also be used in a positive way, simply indicating that a person or thing is more tangible or authentic when seen in person.

Etymology

The phrase 'in the flesh' has its roots in the Latin phrase 'in carne', which translates literally to 'in the flesh'. This phrase has been used in English literature since the 15th Century, and is still seen today. The phrase has also been used to refer to a person or thing being experienced in person, with the implication that the experience is better in person than through any other source.

Usage

The phrase 'in the flesh' is usually used in contexts that involve a person or thing that is experienced in person rather than through any other source. The phrase is used to indicate that a person or thing is more powerful or more real when seen firsthand. It is used to suggest that a person or thing is more tangible or authentic when experienced firsthand. The phrase is also often used to indicate that a person or thing is better off seen in person rather than through a secondhand experience. In some contexts, this phrase can also be used in a positive way, simply indicating that a person or thing is more tangible or authentic when seen in person.

Example Sentences

  • I haven't seen my favorite band perform live in years - I can't wait to experience them 'in the flesh'!
  • The movie was great, but the book was even better; seeing the story 'in the flesh' gave it more depth and meaning.
  • After seeing her gorgeous paintings online, I finally got to experience her art 'in the flesh'.

The meanings of the words in the "in the flesh" 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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