Friday, June 4, 2010

Like clockwork

Here's a scientific idiom today.

How did the exhibition go?

Like clockwork! Meaning, perfectly.

Clockwork was the technology used in clocks. Some people might remember (maybe your grandmother had one) an old clock with a key at the back to wind a spring. After about twelve hours, the clock would slow or stop, so you had to wind it up again.

This gives us another clock based idiom -You're winding me up - meaning you are trying to tease or trick me, or I don't believe what you are saying, it's too rediculous.

Back to clockwork, you would assume that it is an outdated technology - not so.
Britain has a history of eccentric inventors and here is a hero in my opinion, Trevor Bayliss, inventor of the clockwork radio.