SEE MIDI AT YOUR DOOR: origin and meaning

The phrase " see noon at his door Is of ancient origin. It is related to the way of measuring time in the countryside.

Its meaning

It consists of the terms:

  • « midi "Which symbolizes the middle of the day and by extension" the heart of a situation "
  •  « his door", Which is relative to" his own house ", by extension to" his personal interests "before common interests.

Its different meanings are:

  • See or judge things according to one's own point of view, its own criteria.
  • Evaluate a situation according to his own interests.
  • Consider your problems or opinions as the most important.
  • Take care of your own interest before anything else.

His origin

This phrase finds its origin in the way of measuring time in the countryside.

Before the generalization of watches, clocks and clocks in the XNUMXth century, the church steeple was the only time indicator.

Building clocks were housed in bell towers and did not always feature a dial. The time was distributed in a sound manner using bells: 1 stroke for one hour, 2 strokes for two hours, etc ...
The first dials did not become widespread until the beginning of the XNUMXth century on public clocks. They only had one needle.

With the building clock one often found a meridian. This sundial placed on the steeples allowed to rely on the movement of the sun, every day, to put the clock back on time. Built of iron, the mechanism of these early clocks was fragile, unreliable and worn out quickly.

The distance of vision of the clocks of the bell towers made the sight of midday more or less difficult especially if the person was not exactly opposite, making a great margin of interpretation possible.

Those who lived in hamlets without bell towers, fitted their houses with sundials on the facade of the house facing south, most of the time above or near the front door.

The imprecision of these ordinary sundials, not all oriented in the same way with respect to the sun, was notorious, two neighbors each with their own sundial being able to not see noon at the same time.

Each household therefore saw noon, the time indicated in the center of the dial, “at its door” and only referred to its own time.

His synonyms

  • Judge according to your own criteria, your point of view.
  • To be individualistic.

Quote about proverbs:

“A proverb is a teaching of common sense with timeless value. "

Jean Pinety

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