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Getting It From Both Ends

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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason: A list of these references can be found here: If you got a candle, and somehow fixed it to something in the middle, then you could quite literally light both ends.

In an earlier time, instances...

While producing slightly more light, this would waste your candle by using it twice as fast. This is the only meaning the OED gives, with the first citation being from the Dictionarium Britannicum:.

Define make (both) ends meet...

Another sense sometimes used is that if one is working particularly long hours, then one must light a candle at one end of the day, as one starts in the dark of the morning, and at the other, as one ends in the dark of the evening. This sense though is perhaps a folk-etymology of what was originally meant by saying that such a person is being wasteful—hence the first sense—of "life's candle", however they may perhaps be otherwise thrifty.

"Getting It From Both Ends" by also "partying hard" on top of working hard but not a necessary component to the definition. The 'both ends' then weren't the ends of the day but were a literal reference to the two ends of a candle.

Meaning of the English Idiom...

Candles were useful and valuable and the notion of waste suggested by lighting both ends at once implied reckless waste. This thought may well have been accentuated by the fact that candles may only be lit at both ends when held horizontally, which would cause them to drip and burn out quickly.

Nathan Bailey defined the term in Getting It From Both Ends Dictionarium Britannicum,by which time the phrase had already been given a figurative interpretation and the both ends were a husband and wife:. The Candle burns at both Ends. Said when Husband and Wife are both Spendthrifts. My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light!

Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered. I was reading some random book and came across this idiom.

Snowflake: I've been burning the...

Can anybody explain the meaning? Em1 2, 19 53 This can be answered with a simple reference check ; please visit the help center for guidance on the kinds of questions that are best asked here.

It has two meanings. This is the only meaning the OED gives, with the first citation being from the Dictionarium Britannicum: That totally fix into the context. Nathan Bailey defined the term in his Dictionarium Britannicum,by which time the phrase had already been given a figurative interpretation and the both ends were a husband and wife: Brusler la chandelle par les deux bouts.

First Fig By Edna St. Vincent Millay My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light!

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