Think in English with Adah

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A Phrase A Week: Lo and behold!

Meaning

When you tell someone about something surprising that happened, you can say “Lo and behold!”

 

Origin

The word ‘lo’ as used in this phrase is a shortening of ‘look’. So, lo and behold! has the meaning of look! – behold!.

Something not very far removed from lo and behold appears in the Bible, Genesis 15:3 (King James Version):

“And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.”

The complete phrase is first recorded in an 1808 letter in the Correspondence 1787–1870, of Queen Victoria’s lady of the bedchamber – Lady Sarah Spencer Lyttelton:

“Hartington… had just told us how hard he had worked all the morning… when, lo and behold! M. Deshayes himself appeared.”

Examples

1.      I went into a bar just next to our hotel and, lo and behold, who should I see sitting there but Jim Gibson!

2.      Carrie tried her luck at the lottery and, lo and behold, won1500! 

October 20th, 2011 Posted by adah at 01:57pm | Fun English Phrases | no comments

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