Imagine you've lost something important to you. What would you do? You'd likely search "high and low" for it! The phrase "high and low" refers to searching everywhere for something or someone, leaving no stone unturned. It’s a way to emphasize that you've done a thorough search.
"High and low" means searching everywhere for something, often with a sense of urgency or importance.
The phrase is pretty straightforward, but let's dive deeper to understand it fully.
So when someone says they've looked "high and low," you can pretty much assume they've looked everywhere.
One of the earliest instances of a phrase resembling "high and low" can be found in religious texts like the Bible, but it's important to note that these may not be the origins of the idiom as it is commonly used today. Over the centuries, the phrase has been incorporated into literature, folklore, and everyday language, further solidifying its place in English vernacular.
The phrase has been around for quite a while, with roots going as far back as the 15th century.
"And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom."
- 2 Chronicles 22:9, King James Bible
The Bible often contains some of the earliest recorded uses of many idioms we use today, and "high and low" is no different. The phrase has been popular ever since and has found its way into literature, speeches, and everyday language.
Let's look at how the phrase is used in different sentences to understand its various contexts better.
Interestingly, "high and low" has also permeated pop culture in a big way.
If you don't want to blow your load by using "high and low" too often, there are alternative expressions you can use:
These expressions can easily replace "high and low" in most contexts.
The idiom has roots going as far back as the 15th century and is found in various historical texts, including the Bible.
It's often used to describe an exhaustive search or range of experiences. For example, "I've searched high and low for my missing book."
Yes, it can sometimes describe a range of emotions or experiences, not just physical locations.
Similar expressions exist in other languages, but they might not translate directly.
The phrase is versatile and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
Yes, it can be used to describe abstract things like searching for truth or meaning.
Yes, it's a widely used expression in both everyday language and in various forms of media.
Yes, several songs incorporate the phrase in their lyrics to emphasize searching or longing.
You can use synonyms like "far and wide" or "everywhere" as replacements.
In summary, the idiom "high and low" is deeply ingrained in our language and culture.
Whether you're reading an old book, watching a contemporary movie, or just chatting with friends, you're likely to encounter this term. It's a testament to this idiom's staying power and utility that it continues to be widely used and understood, adding richness and depth to our language.