July 02, 2007

(Don't) Make like a Tree

This one started off as an expression that pissed me off- which, if you do not exist solely on sheets of cellulose and/or silicon, is not a very wholesome thing to do. But I digress.

The expression really means 'to leave' and usually, pretty quickly. (I know! I felt cheated too. How can you make like a tree and do something that a tree never does: to wit, leave?) A bit of googling, done a long time ago (which is why I cannot remember my sources) revealed that the expression was the result of a (rather sorry, in my opinion) pun on the phenomenon of leaving in deciduous trees, whereby they shed their leaves in "fall" (which is called so because leaves fall off trees in that season).

Therefore, you can make like a tree and leave. Though I still think it is kind of insensitive, given that trees stay 'rooted' to one place all the time. Wait till Arundhati Roy figures that one out...

Sources: Google

5 comments:

yogsma said...

very strange expression..but sounds cool equally.

666 said...

your digressions are very wholesome, though :-)

thats a very interesting phrase indeed. I doubt how many know of it. and then trying to use 'make like a tree' in spoken english is also weird.

on the origin.. if you leave when the deciduous trees starting shed why 'make' like a tree. Its weird :-)

Radha said...

Abhishek, it really is an interesting phrase! And its rather sweet how you should feel cheated & offended on behalf of the trees :)

Moi said...

"Leave me alone", said the tree!!! :)

cool expression....reminds me that i have to do a post on "get out of Dodge" which means precisely the same as this expression ....

Abhishek Rudresh said...

@yogsma, 666: Encountered this expression for the first time as a teen in the "Children and Teens" section at The British Council Library. There was a book called this. Seems to be a pretty popular American slang.

@Radha: Well, the new-age sensitive guy: thats me. Anybody listening ;)

@Moi: The tree probably said that to the "Chipko" Movement guys ;)