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Water Under The Bridge Meaning: What Does It Really Signify?

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Are you familiar with the phrase “water under the bridge”? You may have heard it used in a variety of contexts, from relationships to business deals. But have you ever stopped to wonder where this popular slang term came from and what it really means? In this article, we’ll explore the origins and evolution of “water under the bridge” and why it has become a go-to phrase for moving on from the past.

Water Under The Bridge Meaning

Water Under The Bridge Meaning: What Does It Really Signify?

Water Under The Bridge Meaning

What Does “Water Under The Bridge” Mean?

The phrase “water under the bridge” has a literal meaning that refers to the water that flows underneath a bridge. This water is typically part of a river or stream that flows continuously. When something is said to be “water under the bridge,” it means that it has already passed by and cannot be retrieved or changed. It emphasizes that the past should stay in the past, and one should focus on the present and future.

The phrase is often used to describe past events or experiences that are no longer relevant or important. It suggests that whatever has happened in the past cannot be changed, and it is pointless to dwell on it. It is like a river flowing under a bridge. Once the water has passed under the bridge, it cannot be retrieved or changed. Similarly, once something has happened in the past, it cannot be undone.

For example, if you had an argument with a friend and you resolved it, you might say, “That’s water under the bridge now.” This means that you have moved on from the argument and it is no longer important to dwell on it.

Another example could be a situation where you made a mistake at work, but you have learned from it and moved on. You can say that it is “water under the bridge” and focus on doing better in the future.

Origin of Water Under The Bridge

One theory is that the phrase comes from the fact that water flows under a bridge and cannot be retrieved once it has passed. This idea suggests that the phrase is a metaphor for events that have occurred in the past and cannot be changed.

Another theory is that the phrase has its roots in ancient Rome. According to this theory, the phrase comes from the Latin phrase “aquae ductus,” which means “water led.” This phrase was used to describe the system of aqueducts that transported water throughout the city. Over time, the phrase evolved into “water under the bridge.”

Regardless of its origins, the phrase has become a common expression in the English language. It is often used to describe events or situations that have happened in the past and are no longer relevant or important.

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For example, you might say “our argument from last week is water under the bridge now” to indicate that you have moved on from the disagreement and are no longer upset about it.

Usage in Everyday Language

The phrase “water under the bridge” is commonly used in everyday language to refer to past events or issues that are no longer relevant or important. It is often used to suggest that it is time to move on from something that has already happened and cannot be changed.

Here are some examples of how the phrase might be used in conversation:

  • “I know we had our differences in the past, but that’s all water under the bridge now. Let’s just focus on moving forward.”
  • “I can’t believe you’re still upset about that. It happened years ago! It’s all water under the bridge at this point.”
  • “I’m sorry for what happened between us. Can we just agree to put it all behind us and consider it water under the bridge?”

As you can see, the phrase is often used in situations where there has been some sort of conflict or disagreement in the past. It can be a way of acknowledging that something happened without dwelling on it or allowing it to continue to affect the present or future.

In addition to its use in conversation, “water under the bridge” can also be used in writing, such as in emails or letters. It can be a useful way of acknowledging past issues or mistakes while still focusing on moving forward.

Usage in Literature

Water Under The Bridge is a popular phrase that has been used in literature for many years. This phrase is often used to describe past events that are no longer important or relevant. Here are a few examples of how this phrase has been used in literature:

  • In the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main character, Jay Gatsby, uses the phrase “It’s all very much water under the bridge” to describe his past relationship with Daisy Buchanan.
  • In the play “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, the character Blanche DuBois uses the phrase “It’s all water under the bridge” to describe her past mistakes and regrets.
  • In the poem “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot, the phrase “Water under the bridge” is used to describe the passing of time and the inevitability of change.
  • In the 1920 novel “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton, where the protagonist reflects on a past love affair and how it is “water under the bridge” now.

As you can see, Water Under The Bridge is a versatile phrase that can be used in many different contexts in literature. It is often used to describe the passage of time and the importance of moving on from past events.

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Usage in Music

“Water Under the Bridge” is a song by Adele, which was released as the fourth single from her third studio album, 25, in 2016. The song was co-written by Adele and Greg Kurstin. It is a mid-tempo pop and soul song with influences of 1980s music, R&B, and a gospel choir over guitars and snare drums.

The song’s lyrics tell a story of a relationship that suddenly becomes serious, causing fear and uncertainty, but ultimately realizing that it is the right thing. The phrase “water under the bridge” is used in the chorus, suggesting that past disagreements or mistakes should be forgotten and not allowed to ruin the present.

Adele’s “Water Under the Bridge” is not the only song to use this phrase. Many other artists have used it in their lyrics, such as Olivia Newton-John in her song “Water Under the Bridge” from her album “Physical”, and Red Hot Chili Peppers in their song “Under the Bridge” from their album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”. In the 1985 song “Water Under the Bridge” by Talking Heads, lead singer David Byrne sings about a relationship that has ended and how it is now “water under the bridge.”

The phrase “water under the bridge” is a common metaphor in music to describe past events that are no longer significant or troubling. It is often used in songs about relationships, where past conflicts or mistakes are forgiven, forgotten, or no longer considered important.

For example, in the song “Water Under the Bridge” by Adele, the phrase is used to describe a past relationship that has been resolved and is no longer a source of conflict. Similarly, in the song “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, the phrase is used to describe a past addiction that has been overcome and is no longer a source of pain.

Impact on Society

Water Under The Bridge is a phrase that has a significant impact on society. It is a reminder that people should focus on the present and future instead of dwelling on the past. This phrase has been used in various contexts, including personal relationships, politics, and business.

In personal relationships, Water Under The Bridge is often used to resolve conflicts and disagreements. It reminds people that they should forgive and forget past mistakes and focus on building a better future together. For example, if you had a fight with your partner, you could say, “Let’s forget about what happened and move on. It’s all water under the bridge now.”

In politics, Water Under The Bridge is used to refer to past issues that have been resolved. It reminds politicians and citizens that they should not hold grudges or dwell on past mistakes. Instead, they should focus on finding solutions to current problems. For example, a politician could say, “I know we had our differences in the past, but that’s all water under the bridge now. Let’s work together to find a solution to this problem.”

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In business, Water Under The Bridge is often used to refer to past mistakes or failures. It reminds business owners and employees that they should not dwell on past failures but instead learn from them and move on. For example, a business owner could say, “We made some mistakes in the past, but that’s all water under the bridge now. Let’s focus on improving our processes and growing our business.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a synonym for ‘water under the bridge’?

There are several synonyms for ‘water under the bridge’ that you can use in different contexts. Some of these synonyms include ‘forgotten,’ ‘resolved,’ ‘settled,’ ‘past,’ ‘gone,’ ‘done with,’ and ‘history.’ These words can be used interchangeably with ‘water under the bridge’ to convey the same meaning.

What does the idiom ‘water under the bridge’ mean?

The idiom ‘water under the bridge’ refers to past events or situations that are no longer important or relevant. It means that something has happened in the past and cannot be changed, so it is best to move on and focus on the present and future.

How do you use ‘water under the bridge’ in a sentence?

You can use ‘water under the bridge’ in a sentence to refer to a past event or situation that is no longer important or relevant. For example, “We had our differences in the past, but that’s all water under the bridge now.” Another example is, “I know you made a mistake, but it’s water under the bridge, let’s move on.”

What is the meaning of the song ‘Water Under the Bridge’?

The song ‘Water Under the Bridge’ is a pop song by Adele. The song talks about a relationship that has ended, but the singer is ready to move on and forget about the past. The phrase ‘water under the bridge’ is used in the chorus to emphasize that the past is in the past, and it’s time to move on.

What is the book ‘Water Under the Bridge’ about?

The book ‘Water Under the Bridge’ is a novel by Susan Carol McCarthy. The book is set in Florida and tells the story of a woman named Molly who is searching for her missing sister. The title ‘Water Under the Bridge’ refers to the idea that the past cannot be changed, and Molly must come to terms with her past to find her sister.

What does ‘water under the bridge’ mean in medical contexts?

In medical contexts, ‘water under the bridge’ can refer to the accumulation of fluid in the body due to various medical conditions. For example, ‘water under the bridge’ can be a symptom of heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease. However, it’s important to note that this medical usage is not related to the idiomatic usage of the phrase.

Related resources:

There are several synonyms for 'water under the bridge' that you can use in different contexts. Some of these synonyms include 'forgotten,' 'resolved,' 'settled,' 'past,' 'gone,' 'done with,' and 'history.' These words can be used interchangeably with 'water under the bridge' to convey the same meaning.

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The idiom 'water under the bridge' refers to past events or situations that are no longer important or relevant. It means that something has happened in the past and cannot be changed, so it is best to move on and focus on the present and future.

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You can use 'water under the bridge' in a sentence to refer to a past event or situation that is no longer important or relevant. For example, \"We had our differences in the past, but that's all water under the bridge now.\" Another example is, \"I know you made a mistake, but it's water under the bridge, let's move on.\"

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The song 'Water Under the Bridge' is a pop song by Adele. The song talks about a relationship that has ended, but the singer is ready to move on and forget about the past. The phrase 'water under the bridge' is used in the chorus to emphasize that the past is in the past, and it's time to move on.

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The book 'Water Under the Bridge' is a novel by Susan Carol McCarthy. The book is set in Florida and tells the story of a woman named Molly who is searching for her missing sister. The title 'Water Under the Bridge' refers to the idea that the past cannot be changed, and Molly must come to terms with her past to find her sister.

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In medical contexts, 'water under the bridge' can refer to the accumulation of fluid in the body due to various medical conditions. For example, 'water under the bridge' can be a symptom of heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease. However, it's important to note that this medical usage is not related to the idiomatic usage of the phrase.

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