Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 11:02:27 -0400


Subject: wing and a prayer

thanks for the monkey = bottle explanation. if you people weren't so

useful, i wouldn't bother you so much. ah, the curse of knowledge.

ok, i promise this is my last question in preparation for this radio

gig, and after that i'll try to control myself for a while.

(although i'll admit that self-control is not my forte.)

one listener has written in with a bunch of idioms she wants

explained. she gets the wording of a lot of them wrong, so i assume

she's an L2 speaker. one of the ones she asks about is "live on a

prayer and a wing". now, i've always heard of this as "live on a

wing and a prayer." is p&w a known variation, or is this just a mis-

remembering on her part?

none of the idiom dictionaries or general dictionaries i've

consulted (and i've consulted all the ones in the library and as

many as i could get away with in the bookstore) have "(live on a)

wing and a prayer" (or "prayer & wing", for that matter). does

anyone know anything about this idiom and its origins? a nice concise

definition would help me too, as i don't know how good my own

estimation is. how is: "to live with little more than hope to

sustain oneself"?

thanks in advance (again),