This – Never Seen the Light of Day – is the title of a song. What does "see the light of day" mean?
For something to "see the light of day" is for it to get its share of opportunity to succeed, to be shown, to be brought out and made known. The expression probably comes from the ideas of "day" and "night". The day follows the night, but if something never sees the light of day, obviously it will remain in the dark (of night) for ever.
The expression is often, more often than not at any rate, used in a negative statement. For example: "Your plans are good. They may work but I'm afraid they'll never see the light of day with the current administration." This means the current regime will never give you the opportunity to try your plans out. Their attention is elsewhere.
In other words, your plans have no chance (of being put to work).
Or the expression could be used in a questioning remark: "Your plans are good. They may work but will they ever see the light of day?" Here, the speaker is doubtful.
I have been reading about the assassination of JFK the other day... More than four decades have passed since that fatal date in Dallas but a lot of writers are still fascinated with the tragic death of the US President. Among other things, a large number of eyewitnesses to the killing of Kennedy were later found dead, and often in mysterious circumstances prompting conspiracy theorists to conclude that at least some of these witnesses were gotten rid of by the powers that be just so that their tales would never see the light of day.
Ah well, enough of my made-up examples. Here are a few from the media:
1. Eight out of 10 ideas for a business or invention never see the light of day
New Year, new resolutions. Will you change your job, aim for promotion or start your own business? There are so many good intentions, but how often do we make that leap to starting our own business?
NESTA, the UK's largest early stage investor in innovative and creative businesses, commissioned research to find out why so few of our 'good ideas' make their way to the balance sheet.
The 'Fear of Failure Report' released by NESTA, reveals that nearly one in three (29%) people have had what they thought was a great business idea or invention but eight out of 10 of those didn't do a thing about it. When asked why, 61% said that they didn't know where to start, 67% claimed not to have sufficient funds and 33% just didn't have the time.
- Nesta.org.uk, January 2, 2007
2. Will this tunnel plan see the light of day?
Six years ago, my colleague, Robert Weimer, proposed substituting a tunnel for the failed bridge project between Long Island and Rye. He pushed the idea in one of the last editorials he wrote before retiring.
Bob, a smart man and gifted writer who cared deeply for Long Island, died a few months later, but his idea lives on.
- Newsday.com, November 27, 2007
3. The first of what will probably be a handful of rumors tied to prying Jason Kidd out of the Eastern Conference broke Wednesday, roping in Portland in addition to probable trade participants Dallas and New Jersey.
Published reports surfaced that had the Blazers contemplating facilitating Kidd's return to the Mavericks by moving Travis Outlaw, Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack, players who have contributed considerably to this season's revival. In return, they would get Dallas' fourth-year point guard Devin Harris, once considered untouchable since he's one of a handful of players in the league capable of staying with Tony Parker of rival San Antonio.
According to several NBA sources,that deal will never see the light of day. That being said, there is validity to the fact the Trail Blazers are doing some talking, which compromises the bubble of security they've been operating under during this Cinderella season. While it might seem naïve that the third-youngest team in league history would be able to keep all of its parts together for the foreseeable future, the fact is that for reasons related to cap issues and roster space, only the true core is safe.
- The Juice: Kidd 3-way trade? No, but Blazers will deal – someday (CBSSports.com, February 1, 2008)