The expression "a stone's throw" is a colloquial way of saying that something is very close in distance. It evokes the image of the short distance a stone might travel if casually thrown, suggesting that the location or object is only a short distance away. It's like saying, "It's just around the corner" or "It's very close by."
"A stone's throw" means a short distance away.
When someone says something is "a stone's throw away," they are referring to a short distance. It's as if you could reach the place or object by simply throwing a stone.
Here are some important aspects of this idiom's meaning:
The origin and history of the idiom "a stone's throw" refers to a short but undefined distance, literally the distance a stone can be thrown. The phrase has its roots in early English versions of the Bible, which mention "a stone's cast" with a similar meaning. For instance, Luke 22:41 in Wycliffe's Bible from 1526 states: "in nd he gat himself from them, about a stone's cast." The specific variant "stone's throw" was firmly established by John Arbuthnot in "The History of John Bull" in 1712. Following that, there have been numerous citations of the phrase in various works.
By the end of the 16th century, the phrase "stone's throw" was used in non-biblical settings, as seen in Arthur Hall's translation "The Ten books of Homers Iliades" from 1581, which contains the line:
"For who can see a stones throw of ought thing in land or plaine?"
Here are some examples to help you understand the usage of this idiom:
It means a short distance away.
It has ancient roots, often associated with the distance a stone can be thrown.
Yes, it's a commonly used idiom in modern English.
Yes, it can also describe closeness in terms of relationship or similarity.
Many languages have similar idioms, but the exact phrasing might differ.
Generally, it's neutral, but context can give it a positive or negative connotation.
It's more informal and is often used in casual conversations.
Yes, for example, "Stone's Throw From Hurtin'" by Elton John.
It's used in both spoken and written English.
Yes, it's a metaphorical way of describing a short distance.
"A stone's throw" is a phrase that encapsulates proximity, both literal and metaphorical. Whether you're talking about the short distance to a neighboring house, a nearby park, or how close you are to achieving a goal, the phrase serves as a vivid descriptor.
Here's a quick wrap-up: