Does anything in your life happen very rarely? For example, one of your friends might be really busy all the time. But one day, he asked you out first to hang out next weekend! He rarely does that, right? In this case, you can say that your friend asking you out first only happens once in a blue moon. So, what exactly does that mean? Continue reading to learn the meaning and origin of this commonly used English idiom, once in a blue moon.
Once in a Blue Moon
Have you ever heard of the expression once in a blue moon? It is a very commonly used English idiom. You might have had trouble understanding it if you were trying to understand it literally. Most English idioms are hard to understand unless you learn the meaning of the whole phrase and also know its origin. So, we are here to explain the meaning and origin of once in a blue moon.
Once in a Blue Moon Meaning
This expression describes something that only happens once in a while or rarely.
Once in a Blue Moon Origin
There are a few possible origins to once in a blue moon.
This expression was first seen in 1528 in an anti-Church pamphlet. During that time, the Church was making outrageous, unbelievable statements and expecting people to believe all of them. So, this phrase was referencing a conversation between two people saying that if someone tells you that the moon is blue, you must believe that.
Another possible explanation is a little bit more scientific and is related to the moon cycle. Did you know that two full moons in a single month only happens every 32 months? That is very rare!
Have you ever seen a blue moon? The moon can actually appear to be blue because of volcanic eruptions or forest fires. The smoke and ash in the sky can make the moon look blue. This also happens only once in a while.
Examples of Once in a Blue Moon
Now that you know where the expression comes from and what it means, let’s look at some examples. Seeing once in a blue moon in a sentence will make it easier to understand and remember the meaning.
- I regret buying Nintendo Switch – I only use it once in a blue moon.
- James is really careful with what he eats, so he only eats fast food once in a blue moon.
- My grandmother visits us only once in a blue moon because she lives in another province.
- Robbery happens once in a blue moon in our town. You don’t have to worry too much about it.
- I have to save money, so I only eat out once in a blue moon.
More English Idioms and Expressions
If you want to really improve your English vocabulary and conversation skills, check out more idioms and expressions! The more idioms you know, the better English skill you will have.
FAQs About Once in a Blue Moon
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about once in a blue moon and English idioms.
What does once in a blue moon mean?
Once in a blue moon means that something happens very rarely.
What are the 10 most common idioms?
Here are 10 common English idioms:
- Turn a blind eye
- A dime a dozen
- Blow off some steam
- Crack the whip
- Bee in your bonnet
- Back to square one
- Beat around the bush
- Under the weather
- Spill the beans
- Once in a blue moon
What are some common English expressions used in daily life?
Common English expressions that you can use a lot in daily life:
- Long time no see.
- How’s your day going?
- What’s up?
- You’re the best.
- Could you give me a hand?
- What can I do for you?
Once in a Blue Moon: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on this commonly used English idiom? Is it an expression you already knew, or is it your first time learning about it? Now that you know well about ‘once in a blue moon,’ try making a sentence using this idiom on your own. Share your sentence with us! We’d love to hear from you.