19 March 2009

Idioms & Slang: Neck of the woods

Neck of the woods’ is a common expression in both British and American English and dates back several hundred years. In English, a neck refers to anything long and narrow such as the neck of a wine bottle or the neck of a stringed instrument such as the violin, lute or guitar. Originally, when one said that a village was found in a neck of the woods, they literally meant that the village was located in long, narrow stretch of woods.

With time the expression changed to mean ‘an area of country or the area where you live such as a neighborhood’. Here are a few example sentences:

  • What brings you to our neck of the woods?
  • If you are in our neck of the woods, you should stop and visit us in Strasbourg.
  • This is one of the wealthiest families in this neck of the woods.

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