The idiom "at the bottom of the hour" refers to the point in time that is 30 minutes past the top of an hour. Though it's primarily used in broadcasting, this phrase has wide applications in casual conversation or scheduling.
"At the bottom of the hour" signifies the half-hour mark in a given hour.
"At the bottom of the hour" is an idiomatic expression used to indicate that an event or action will occur 30 minutes past the hour. For example, if someone says, "Meet me at the bottom of the hour," they mean, "Meet me at _:30" (e.g., 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, etc.). This phrase is commonly used in broadcast media, such as radio and television, to indicate the timing of shows, news updates, or commercials.
Let's explore its core meanings:
The term "at the bottom of the hour" is derived from the visual representation of time on a clock face. When the minute hand is at 30 minutes, it is at the bottom of the clock, hence "at the bottom of the hour." The phrase is predominantly used in broadcast media to schedule and organize programming.
The placement of the 24 - hour position at the bottom of the hour scale appears to be slightly superior to its placement at the top of the hour scale.
- Aviation Psychology Program Research Reports, 1947
Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:
While not frequently appearing in pop culture, the phrase "at the bottom of the hour" is a staple in broadcasting, often used to signal transitions or indicate scheduling details.
Let's examine some examples:
There aren't many alternative expressions that convey the same precise meaning as "at the bottom of the hour."
Some examples include:
"At the bottom of the hour" refers to the 30-minute mark in a given hour. It is often used in broadcasting and scheduling.
You can use this idiom to indicate a specific time point, such as "The meeting will start at the bottom of the hour."
The phrase comes from the visualization of a clock face, where the minute hand is at the bottom at 30 minutes past any hour.
The term is neutral in tone and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
No, while often used in that context, it can be used to indicate the half-hour mark in any situation.
Yes, "at the bottom of the hour" can refer to any point in time that is 30 minutes past any given hour.
Yes, it's used in English-speaking countries worldwide, particularly in broadcasting and media settings.
Phrases like "half past the hour," "thirty minutes past," or "halfway through the hour" carry similar meanings.
Yes, it can be used in written communication, especially when detailing schedules or timelines.
Yes, it can still be used to indicate the half-hour mark, even in the context of digital clocks.
The idiom "at the bottom of the hour" signifies the half-hour mark or 30 minutes past any given hour. You'll commonly encounter the phrase in broadcasting, scheduling, and other contexts where precise time indication is necessary.
Here's a quick recap:
The idiom highlights how we often represent the abstract concept of time in concrete, spatial terms. Describing an hour as having a "top" and "bottom" allows us to visualize its progression in a simple, familiar way.