The phrase "on the heels of" indicates a close sequence of events or actions, suggesting that one event follows closely after another, almost as if it's chasing or treading on its heels. The phrase evokes the image of a fast-paced pursuit or a rapid succession of happenings, underscoring the interconnectedness and immediacy of the events in question.
The idiom “on the heels of” generally refers to a situation where one thing happens soon after another. The phrase conveys a sense of immediacy or closeness, akin to one person following directly behind another, stepping on their heels.
Let's break it down a bit further:
The exact origin of the phrase is unclear, but it can be traced back to various historical texts and works of literature. It appears in Frederick Douglass's 1855 work "My Bondage and My Freedom," where he writes about the self-executing laws of eternal justice that closely follow evildoers. In this example, the phrase "on the heels of" is used to convey the idea of something happening closely after or in quick succession to another event.
"The self-executing laws of eternal justice follow close on the heels of the evil-doer here, as well as elsewhere."
- Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom, 1855
"During the war period, by some heroic efforts we established competent forces in the field to enable us to keep right on the heels of the war spending."
- Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds of the Committee on Public Works, 1947
To help you better understand the usage of this idiom, let's examine some examples in various contexts:
The idiom "on the heels of" often makes appearances in pop culture, typically to underscore the sequence and immediacy of events.
Let's delve into some examples:
There are several other expressions that share a similar meaning with "on the heels of."
Here are a few examples:
"On the heels of" is an idiom that means closely following or occurring immediately after an event or situation.
You can use "on the heels of" to signify an event that occurs directly after another. For example, "After much hard work and diligence, she started to reap the benefits of her commitment on the heels of her most challenging project."
The phrase "on the heels of" originated from the idea of following closely behind someone or something, as if treading on their heels.
Yes, "on the heels of" can be used in a variety of contexts, including personal ones. For example, "She decided to go back to school on the heels of her divorce."
"On the heels of" generally suggests a close succession, but it does not necessarily mean the following event happens instantly. The gap can vary depending on the context.
Yes, it is quite common, particularly in written English and formal communication. It is often used in journalism and literature.
In news reporting, "on the heels of" is used to denote the sequence of events and highlight the connection between them, especially when one event has an impact on or leads to another.
While "on the heels of" signifies sequence, it does not necessarily imply causality. However, in many contexts, it might suggest that one event was a response or reaction to the event that it followed.
Some synonyms include "following closely behind," "in the wake of," "directly after," "soon after," "just after," "shortly after," and "close on the heels of."
While the phrase "on the heels of" is an English idiom, similar phrases or idioms exist in other languages that convey the same idea of following closely after an event.
"On the heels of" is a frequently used idiom that indicates one event occurring directly or closely after another. It's a helpful phrase to denote sequence, connection, or impact between events, whether in personal stories or news reporting. The phrase adds a sense of immediacy and highlights the relationship between two occurrences.
Here's a quick recap:
In any form of communication, the usage of idiomatic expressions like "on the heels of" can enrich the language and make the conversation or text more engaging and contextually nuanced.