To Linguistics and Educators
Ever wondered about the origin of idioms? Morphology is actually quite an interesting area of linguistics (there aren't many)...and for those of you with morphological interests - you might be interested in this link.
It describes how the aforementioned idiom came into common usage. What's striking in this instance is the connection between past realities of a harsh, visceral situation and the effects they caused.
This article aptly describes the evolution of the phrase - starting from a geographical description to a metaphorical reality.
Have a read...and if you come across any other examples, let me know.