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It sounds very old-fashioned to me. If he had to go through a lot of trouble to get the necessary documents, it would be much clearer to use that phrase: He had to go through a lot of trouble to get the documents he needed from the police station and the post office. Last edited: Mar 5, Andygc Senior Member Devon. The expression is "He was sent from pillar to post". It does not work in your sentence. It means "to be subjected to endless bureaucracy".
To get his permit he had to go to the police station, the post office, the market office, the health centre, the town hall and back to the police station. There was a form to complete in every office. Andygc said:. Similarly, the Dutch equivalent phrase is van het kastje naar de muur sturen , to send from the cupboard to the wall — i. The phrase is often thought to be a metaphor from the bouncing and rebounding of the ball in real tennis.
Phythian wrote:. Usually thought to be from real royal tennis, an old indoor version of the game, which involves toing and froing as pillar to post may imply: pillar and post were features of the court and may have figured in a technical term for a certain type of shot.
from pillar to post
For example, the expression was explicitly associated with tennis in A pleasant comedie, shewing the contention betweene liberalitie and prodigalitie , a morality play by an unknown author:. Continuall vnrest must be thy destinie: Ech day, ech houre, yea, euery minute tost, Like to a tennis ball, from piller to post. The supposition that the phrase is linked with tennis was first made by Sir James Murray, during his editing of the Oxford English Dictionary , in Notes and Queries December :. However, in the above-mentioned dictionary , B. Phythian disagrees:.
But the expression is ancient at least early 15 th century and more common than one would expect of a phrase originating in limited aristocratic circles. For these reasons, it may well have come rather from the medieval punishment of the pillory pillar and whipping-post ; these were more in the public domain than real tennis and imply greater inconvenience.
To be tost from post to pillory. Lane wrote to his mother on 22 d March I embrace this opportunity of writing a fieu [few] lines to you. My health since this war commenced has bin injured very much.
From pillar to post Synonyms, From pillar to post Antonyms | churchserody.cf
I have bin drove from post to pillory , my bed for the last three years has bin most of the [time] on the cold ground. From pillar to post or post to pillar. Whether the phrase, From pillar to post, is a corruption of this, or an independent saying, it is difficult to say, more especially as From post to pillar is in Heywood, This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. This idea is also present in some of the equivalent phrases in other languages: — In Spanish, the phrase andar , or ir , de Herodes a Pilatos , literally means to walk , or to go , from Herod to Pilate.