Everyday Life


fragments, bits

Despite its American sound and its common use by the fiery cartoon character Yosemite Sam, ‘smithereens’ did not originate in American slang. Although no one is entirely positive about its precise origins, scholars think it is likely that ‘smithereens’ developed from the Irish Gaelic word ‘smidiriin,’ which means ‘little bits.’ That Irish word is believed to come from an even older term that means ‘fragment.’

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