Often, when something is "on the anvil," it denotes that it is currently in a stage of active consideration or development. This idiom is commonly used to refer to projects, plans, or ideas that are in the making and have not yet been finalized.
"On the anvil" generally signifies something in the process of being created or discussed.
The idiom "on the anvil" carries a specific notion pertaining to the stage of creation or formulation of something. To unravel its layers of meaning, let's delve deeper into the various nuances this phrase holds:
While it often denotes something that is actively under consideration or creation, it can also imply that the matter is on the verge of being finalized.
The blacksmithing profession, which uses an anvil as a hard surface to hammer and shape metals, birthed the idiom. Let's mull it over by understanding the origin and the journey of this idiom through historical texts and usages.
People have reportedly used the phrase since the 17th century, symbolizing the crafting and molding process to achieve a desired shape, akin to metals on an anvil.
“The secret treaty was now on the anvil; the principal artists were the King, the Queen, Sec. Windebank, and Sec. Cottington.”
- Letter from Sir John Finet, 1635.
This usage portrays a situation where a secret treaty was in the process of being developed.
To get a better grasp of the phrase, let's examine it in different contexts through the following sentences:
Though not overwhelmingly prevalent in pop culture, the idiom "on the anvil" has made some appearances.
Here are actual occurrences featuring it:
Here are a few synonyms that can be used interchangeably with "on the anvil":
The phrase “on the anvil” has its roots in the blacksmithing profession. An anvil is a hard iron block used by blacksmiths to work on metals, generally to give them a desired shape. So, when something is said to be “on the anvil”, it is being worked on or is in the process of development.
When something is “on the anvil”, it means that it is currently under discussion, being developed, or actively considered. It could also imply that the thing in question is nearing completion.
Yes, the term can be used in various contexts, including but not limited to planning events, creating policies, developing products, or working on art projects. It signifies that the process is active and the outcome is eagerly awaited.
The term is moderately popular in contemporary language. While it might not be the most common phrase to denote something in progress, it is understood and used by a significant number of English speakers, portraying something in the development or discussion stage.
Yes, in formal writings, one might replace “on the anvil” with modern synonyms such as “under development”, “being discussed”, or “in the works” to convey that something is in the planning or development stage.
An “anvil” literally refers to a heavy steel or iron block with a flat top surface and concave sides, used in forging iron articles. It is a traditional tool where a blacksmith works metals into desired shapes.
The term “on the anvil” is used globally, however, it might be more prevalent in certain English-speaking regions. People all over the world who are proficient in English tend to use this phrase to describe something that is in a developmental or planning stage.
While there might not be highly notable books or movies centered around the term, it has found a place in various pieces of literature and interviews, symbolizing things in the development phase. It often appears in narratives involving creation and development processes.
To correctly use “on the anvil” in a sentence, it should denote something in development or under discussion. For instance, “The new policy is still on the anvil and yet to be finalized” portrays a policy in the development stage.
Yes, the term “on the anvil” can be used to describe both personal and professional situations. Whether you are referring to a personal project you are working on, a relationship that is evolving, or a professional venture that is under development, using this phrase can adequately convey that something is in a stage of active consideration.
The idiom "on the anvil" holds a significant place in the English language because it depicts a process of creation or discussion.