Thursday, April 18, 2013

A stone's throw away

Do you recognize the idiom in this cover headline? It's a play on words. A STONE'S THROW AWAY means something is not far, or it's very close. For example, you can say "The beach is just A STONE'S THROW AWAY from my house." This story is about the city's plans to replace the old, hand-cut cobblestones in one section of Brooklyn and replace them with machine-produced look-alikes. The reconstruction is basically to update the road surface, as well as the sewage, utilities, and water pipes underneath and bring them to today's standards. 

This PUN (play on words) is used because the stones are being thrown away, of course. In addition, some of the original cobblestones will be reused along with the new ones, which goes along with the meaning of the idiom--they're not going far. Many of the original cobblestones will be laid probably not too far from where they lie now. We can also say that they will be laid just A STONE'S THROW AWAY from where they are now.

If you look at the smaller print just above the photo, you'll see two phrases in green that is actually another common English expression: OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW. We use this when we GET RID OF (eliminate; throw away) something old and replace it with something new. You can say this when you're replacing an old machine with a new one, for example, or when you are upset that someone old is being replaced with someone young.

Here are some examples of these expressions.
     1. This computer is about 10 years old now; it's time to replace it. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW. 
     2. It looks like he divorced his wife for a younger woman. I guess it's OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW.  
     3. His moving out of his parents' house, but he's moving to an apartment that's just A STONE'S THROW AWAY, so he'll probably head over there for dinner now and then.

Btw, if you want to read the news article, you can find it here

Alright, folks. What's just A STONE'S THROW AWAY from your house? I can say the subway station is just A STONE'S THROW AWAY from my place. I hope you enjoyed this small lesson. Feel free to ask questions or comment. Also, consider clicking one of the buttons below to share this with a friend. Until next time, take care! :-)


  1. The beach is a stone´s throw away from my summer house so I can see the sea from my balcony.

  2. I better should say, from my summer place

    1. Hi Laura, That's a perfect sentence. Thanks for sharing. Also, both summer house and summer place are fine, and you can also say summer home. It must be nice to be so close to the ocean. :-)