The idiom ‘eleventh hour’ has been a potential blog post title twice before because it seems that I often sit to write at the last hour of the day which so happens to be 11.
It is often my attempt to eek out a post before the days-end.
I know I’ve used that phrase before because basically through my young-adult life, that is how I got stuff done…at the 11th hour. I really never was curious about its origin until tonight.
I love that the internet can effortlessly give me a hint at what I am curious about. I say hint because I still hold the belief that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet.
I love that I get this curiosity from my dad. Who has an affinity for knowing a little bit about everything and a whole lot about some things (like flying).
My short journey on the Search Engine (toot toot) produced this information:
“Late; shortly before an anticipated event. Matthew’s parable of the laborers in
the vineyard (20: 2-16) has the men hired at the eleventh hour being paid as
much as the ones hired early in the morning, even though the eleventh-hour
people only worked for an hour. From this sense of being barely in time to
receive some benefit comes the concept of time running out.” ” From “The
Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
I am grateful that I am able to post this at the 11th hour, by the skin-of-my-teeth, post haste!
Skin of my teeth
Geneva Bible, 1560, in Job 19:20
Teeth don’t have skin, of course, so the writer may have been alluding to the teeth’s surface or simply to a notional minute measure – something that might now be referred to, with less poetic imagery than the biblical version, as ‘as small as the hairs on a gnat’s bollock’.
1545, usually said to be from “post haste” instruction formerly written on letters (attested from 1538), from post (3) “system for sending mail” + haste. The verb post “to ride or travel with great speed” is recorded from 1558.