ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS

 

Water Under The Bridge

Definition:

"Water under the bridge."

=

"Don't worry. I have forgotten about the problem we had before.

Let's move forward and focus on the future."

Application:

People usually use this expression to reconcile with others.

Example:

Emily:        "I don't want to fight anymore, sis.”

Donna:      "Me too! I'm so sorry! I never meant to hurt you!"

Emily:        "I know.”

Donna:      "We were drunk. We weren't thinking."

Emily:        "I broke up with him. Water under the bridge.

Notes:

1. Literature Reference: Author Charlaine Harris uses this expression in a 2017 short story for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, "Small Signs," to describe how the protagonist shrugs off having been fired:

"David straightened up and took a step toward his car, a rental. 'I hated to see you get the ax. Cassie's not a patch on you.'

"'Water under the bridge,' Anne said stiffly."

2. Media Reference #1: Journalist Paul Krugman uses this expression in a September 9th, 2010 editorial for The New York Times, entitled "Things Could Be Worse ," to describe financial policy mistakes: "Like their Japanese counterparts, American policy makers initially responded to a burst bubble and a financial crisis with half-measures. I’ve lamented that fact, but at this point it’s water under the bridge. The question is: What happens now?" (https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/opinion/10krugman.html)

3. Media Reference #2: Journalist Mary Louise Kelly uses this expression in a March 18th, 2020 NPR interview ("Former State Department Official Comments On U.S. Role In Global Response To Pandemic") with a former government official to discuss challenging international relations: "Let me turn you from China to Europe and the recent decision to give no warning to EU leaders about the travel ban, which, I guess, is water under the bridge now. But does that impact the ability going forward to work together with Europe on this crisis and its aftermath?" (https://www.npr.org/2020/03/18/817934538/former-state-department-official-comments-on-u-s-role-in-global-response-to-pand) (At 1 minute and 44 seconds into the broadcast.)  

4. Media Reference #3: Betsy Brandt's character of "Marie Schrader" uses this expression in season 5, episode 3 of the television series Breaking Bad ("Hazard Pay") to describe  her relationship with her brother-in-law: "Listen, I've had my problems with Walt. Why he wouldn't come to the house when we were all practically begging... whatever, water under the bridge." (At 30 minutes and 16 seconds into the episode. Originally aired July 29th, 2012.) 

Stay connected! 

Join our newsletter to receive updates on English courses and activities directly to your mailbox.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Logo
  • Meetup Logo
YTicon.jpg

MLS English Language Program

Davis Square

402 A Highland Avenue, Suite I

Somerville, MA 02144  United States of America

© 2019 by James Doyle