Phrases, Clichés, Expressions & Sayings
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X marks the spot
 
Meaning: Marking the scene of a crime with an X where the deed was done.
Example:
Origin: This cliché is from the earliest days of newspaper photography where the scene of the crime would be shown with an X to mark where the deed was done. It goes back even further in romantic accounts of such things as pirate treasure maps. The expression was being used joe-kingly by the 1920s, and now can be found as a formula phrase.

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Xerxes’ tears
Meaning: A commander's concern for the lives of his troops.
Example:
Origin: The Persian conqueror Xerxes I was a despot with a great heart. When he was about to invade Greece he is said to have reviewed his huge army and wept at the thought of the slaughter about to take place, saying sadly, “Of all this multitude, who knows how many will return?”
Source: “Word And Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson.


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