HOLD A CANDLE TO
Meaning: measure up, compare to.
Origin: Apprentices used to be expected to hold the candle so that more experienced workmen were able to see what they were doing. Someone unable even to do that would be of low status indeed.
Sir Edward Dering used a similar phrase 'to hold the candle' in his The fower cardinal-vertues of a Carmelite fryar, 1641: "Though I be not worthy to hold the candle to Aristotle."
'To hold a candle' is first recorded in 1883 in William Norris's No New Thing:
"Edith is pretty, very pretty; but she can't hold a candle to Nellie.
Farm Sayings Friday is weekly feature of Yield Starts Here. You might think your grandparents made it up, but that old saying likely goes back many years. In this feature we will figure out who said it first and what it really means! Do you have a well used saying in your family, send to us and we'll feature it in a future blog.
Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at http://blog.calciumproducts.com/ .