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Thank one's stars for

[ 2011-06-29 13:15]     字号 [] [] []  
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Thank one's stars forA careless resident thanked his stars for good neighbours who stood guard outside his wide open door till he returned from work.

Could you explain "thank one' stars for"?

My comments:

In other words, the careless resident thanked his lucky stars - for the good luck of having such good neighbours.

"One's lucky stars" is an idiom grown out of the ancient belief in the influence of stars over human life. That's why people talk so much of fates and destinies, gods and goblins. And whenever something seemingly out of human control occurs, they raise their hands and look up to the sky – for answers or blessing.

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms points one of the first uses of this phrase to Ben Jonson's play Every Man Out of His Humour (1599): "I thank my Stars for it."

Pretty old, in other words.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.