Have you heard the expression ‘the last straw?’ It is a commonly used English idiom that will strengthen your vocabulary and English speaking skills. To give you a brief idea, it’s used in situations like this: a kid refuses to eat dinner again, again, and again until his father finally yells at him. The last time the kid refused to eat before his father yelled was the last straw. Continue reading to learn more about the meaning and origin of the last straw.
The Last Straw Meaning and Origin
If this phrase, the last straw, doesn’t make sense at first glance, don’t worry! That’s totally normal. A lot of English idioms aren’t so easy to understand without knowing the exact meaning and origin. It is tough, but it is also worth learning. Idioms are commonly used in regular conversations. So, learning idioms and common expressions will be very helpful for improving your conversation skills.
The Last Straw Meaning
Meaning of the last straw: the final annoying thing in a chain of negative things before someone finally loses their patience.
For example, you keep asking, and asking, and asking your spouse for something, and they keep saying no. You ask once again and, finally, your spouse gets annoyed at you and starts yelling. And you probably get in big trouble! The last time you asked was the last straw.
The Last Straw Origin
This expression, the last straw, was first seen in the late 1700s. During this time, camels were often used to transport goods. Camels had to carry as much as possible to get the most value from a single trip. People tried to load as many things as possible on the camels. A final piece of straw was placed on the camel. This caused the camel to collapse and break his back.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back” is a related expression to “the last straw,” and they have the same meaning.
Example Sentence of The Last Straw
Here are some examples. See how the last straw is used in sentences.
- I’m quitting my job. There are so many reasons, but making me work extra on weekends was the last straw.
- Amy broke a promise again. That was the last straw.
- My car is super old, and it stopped working again last week. That was the last straw; I’m getting rid of it.
- Justin has always been rude to our teacher. But him yelling in class was the last straw. Our teacher gave him detention.
- I don’t think my girlfriend will dump me. Being late for a date can’t be the last straw, right?
More Idioms and English Expressions
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FAQs About The Last Straw Meaning
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the last straw and English idioms.
What does the saying the last straw mean?
The last straw is the last in a series of bad or annoying things that make another person very upset or angry.
Where did the phrase the last straw come from?
The origin of the last straw dates back to the late 1700s when camels were a common transportation method. To make the most out of a single trip, people loaded as much as possible on a camel’s back. Straws are normally very light. Putting a single straw on their back, camels won’t feel anything. However, if you keep adding it, it will get heavier. Eventually, camels will get to a point where adding just another straw makes them collapse.
What is another word for the last straw?
Synonyms for the last straw: limit, breaking point, overload, end of the road, and the final stroke.
The Last Straw Meaning: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on this English idiom? Now that you know the meaning and origin of the last straw, try making your own sentence using this phrase. This way, you will be able to remember this expression more easily. If there is another idiom you want to learn, let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!