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8 Origins of Popular Sayings (Slideshow)

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7. “Rest on One’s Laurels.”

Meaning: To be completely satisfied with what you’ve already achieved and have no desire to improve.

Background: Laurel wreaths, like the one pictured above, were status symbols in Ancient Greece. They also symbolized victory. Game winners were presented with the wreaths, and resting on one’s laurels initially meant something more along the lines of a victory speech, not the negative connotation we have with it today.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

226 comments

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1:00PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Thanks

2:44AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

Thanks for this interesting information.

8:06AM PDT on Jun 6, 2013

Very interesting...thanks 4 sharing it!

1:44PM PDT on May 24, 2013

I do enjoy the origin of words or sayings.

12:17PM PDT on May 15, 2013

I really loved this

7:51PM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Really loved this article!

4:26AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Really Neat Article! TY!

10:53PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Thanks.

9:47PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Interesting, thanks.

7:28AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Fascinating stuff...

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