Wednesday 25 April 2007

Phrase of the Day 70: 'the bee's knees'

"it's the bee's knees"

definition: it is an excellent person or thing - of the highest quality.

(to je super,bezva)

example: "I just bought a new television it's the bee's knees."


Aaron Schwartz said...

In my opinion, this phrase is archaic in the US. Do people still use it elsewhere?

Matt Ford said...

Definitely people still use it in the UK. It originated in the US. This is what Oxford Dictionary has to say about it:

The Oxford English Dictionary records the expression 'bee's knee' as meaning the type of something small or insignificant from 1797. The plural form is US slang dating from the 1920s, when there was an explosion of terms meaning 'the acme of excellence': compare the cat's whiskers/pyjamas. The first example is dated 1923. Some of these have lasted, and some have not (the flea's eyebrows, the canary's tusks).