The phrase "apropos of nothing" means that a comment or action is not related to anything previously discussed or done. It's used to introduce a topic that has no connection or relevance to the ongoing conversation. People say it to denote a sudden, unexpected, or out-of-context remark.
"Apropos of nothing" means a remark or action is unrelated to the current conversation or situation.
The idiom "apropos of nothing" signifies a sudden or unexpected conversation shift or an action unrelated to the current situation. It is typically used to preface a statement that doesn't follow the natural flow of the ongoing dialogue or scenario.
Key aspects of the idiom's meaning:
The phrase "apropos of nothing" has its origins in French. "Apropos" translates to "with regard to" or "in reference to," and the addition of "nothing" emphasizes the lack of connection or relevance. This idiom has been used in English literature and conversation to introduce an out-of-context comment or abrupt change in the topic.
"And then she turned laughingly to put her arm round my mother's neck, and tell, apropos of nothing, how twice that day she had been addressed in the village as Miss Browne."
- Nothing New, Tales by Dinah Maria Craik, 1857
Here are some examples of the idiom in use:
From books to movies, the idiom "apropos of nothing" often appears in popular culture:
There are several synonyms and phrases that can be used as alternatives to "apropos of nothing," depending on the context:
The phrase "apropos of nothing" usually means introducing a comment or topic that is not related or relevant to the current conversation or situation.
The idiom is a combination of the French word "apropos" meaning "with regard to," and "nothing," signifying lack of relevance. It is commonly used in English conversation to abruptly change the topic or introduce an unrelated comment.
While "apropos of nothing" typically doesn't carry a negative connotation, it can sometimes be perceived as disrupting the flow of a conversation or seen as a lack of attention or respect towards the current topic.
"Apropos of nothing" is generally more suitable for informal or conversational contexts, although it can be used in formal writing for stylistic purposes or to create a specific tone or effect.
You can replace "apropos of nothing" with phrases like "out of the blue," "unrelatedly," or "without any reason," depending on the context.
"Apropos of nothing" is a universal English idiom, understood and used in both British and American English, as well as other English-speaking regions.
Yes, "apropos of nothing" is commonly used in everyday conversation, especially when introducing a sudden topic change or an out-of-context remark.
While "apropos of nothing" is predominantly used to signify an abrupt shift in conversation or an irrelevant comment, it can also be used more broadly to denote any unexpected, unrelated, or abrupt occurrence or event.
Yes, "apropos of nothing" can be used to describe events. For example, "Apropos of nothing, it started to rain."
"Apropos of nothing" is usually used in a figurative sense, as it typically indicates an unexpected or irrelevant occurrence or comment. However, it could be used more literally to describe a sudden, unconnected event.
The phrase "apropos of nothing" represents a shift in conversation or introduces a comment that is seemingly unrelated to the ongoing topic or situation. The idiom is widespread in English, in everyday conversations, literature, and even film scripts.
Here's a quick recap: