Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Archive for January 20th, 2010

On A Wing And A Prayer

Posted by Elyse Bruce on January 20, 2010

During World War One, airplanes were an untested cog in the mechanisms of warfare.

When an American flyer would return to home base in a damaged airplane, it was said that he had returned “on a wing and a prayer.”

Once on the ground, amazed mechanics and fellow flyers would hear the pilot say that if wasn’t for all the praying he had done, he wouldn’t have gotten back to home base in one piece.

This is how the term “on a wing and a prayer” came to mean that an individual was highly unlikely to succeed in their endeavour but that they were hopeful it would turn out well.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »


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