every nook and cranny
every nook and cranny
Meaning | Synonyms
- to look for something everywhere
- to search in every place
- to search within the smallest parts also
- The lawyers searched every nook and cranny to find more evidence but alas, there was none.
- My mother usually ends up searching every nook and cranny to find her keys and almost always finds it in her purse.
- The divers searched every nook and cranny of the river bed but could not find his body.
- I have been searching for the text book in every nook and cranny of the market but have not been able to find it yet.
- Their search for the perfect groom went on to every nook and cranny before they finally found a suitable match for their daughter.
- My toddler gets into every nook and cranny of the house and finds something that she can break each time.
The idiom originated in the 14th century and it combines 'nook', being used from mid-1300s which means - a distant corner, with 'cranny' in usage since 1440 which means - a crack or gap.
The most possible oldest printed record of the idiom can be found in a book named Scottish Scenery by James Cririe, published in 1803.
From Scottish Scenery by James Cririe
"Yet, how endure the winter's surly rage,
The deadly nipping of the northern blast?
The piercing frost, the mass of drifted snow,
That smooths the valley with the higher ridge,
And ev'ry winding nook and cranny fills? —
Let gracious Heav'n, in mercy, pitying spare,
And save the unhappy solitary wretch,
By fate expos'd to wild inclement skies;
But grant a sounder mind to such as brave,
From choice, the dread artillery of God."
The other examples of the phrase being used can be traced back to Middle English or Scottish English. The 'nook' in the phrase refers to a corner which is out of way and cranny was to point out to any cracks in the walls. These nouns are no longer in popular use apart from being used within this phrase.
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