"Take the bull by the horns": the meaning of phraseology, etymology, antonyms and synonyms
When there is an indefinite, sluggish andan incomprehensible situation and it is necessary to somehow mobilize and resolve everything, you can hear the following expression - "it's time to take the bull by the horns." The phrase is stable and quite common in Russian colloquial speech. What does it mean, what are the rules of use, and also the synonyms of the expression? Let us consider next in order.
There are two main contexts for usingphrases "take the bull by the horns". The meaning of phraseological means: the transition directly to a case or subject of conversation or the beginning of decisive and energetic actions in the desired direction.
- The teacher gives a lot of theory of English grammar, you need to take the bull by the horns and go directly to practice.
- It seems that this project will never begin. It's time to take the bull by the horns and run a trial version by the end of the week.
Both in the first and in the second example we observea situation where the speaker is dissatisfied. He aspires to change it and expresses it with the help of a stable phrase "take the bull by the horns". The meaning of phraseology is figurative. He helps to saturate speech with emotions and express the speaker's personal attitude to the situation.
The phraseology is lexically indivisible andstable in composition and structure of the word combination. It performs the functions of a separate token with an independent meaning, as in the case of the expression "take the bull by the horns". The meaning of phraseology is understandable only through such a combination of words. The sum of their individual values may be quite different.
The image of this phraseology follows fromrepresentations of traditional ways of suppressing bulls, known even from ancient Greek legends. To cope with a strong and uncontrollable animal, it was necessary to act actively, resolutely, swiftly, so as not to be a victim.
The second possible version of originphraseology is associated with arable craft. Earlier, for the cultivation of land used bulls, and not horses. They were put on a furrow, holding the horns with ropes and shafts. When the animal began to react, it was necessary to react quickly and return it in a given direction. To control the bull also required courage and determination.
Synonyms and antonyms
Depending on the context of use, you canpick up to the phraseology "take the bull by the horns" synonymous with "off the bat" or "rolled up your sleeves." A similar, but not identical, meaning is the expression "the ice has moved."
Examples of antonyms are much greater:
- Wait for the weather at the sea.
- Pour from empty to empty.
- To go with the flow.
- After the rain on Thursday.
- Break the water in a mortar.
- To talk teeth.
- Wash your hands.
- In an hour, a teaspoonful.
Imagery, vivid expressions enrich speech and makeits more emotional and individualized, as in the case with the phrase "take the bull by the horns." The meaning of phraseology is most fully revealed in the examples of use. The expression is actively used both in colloquial speech, correspondence, and in art works. It has a number of analogues in foreign languages, for example, take the bull by the horns in English.