safe and sound

S

safe and sound

Meaning

  • unharmed or uninjured.
  • free from danger or risk.
  • securely protected or sheltered.
  • without any harm or damage.
  • in a state of well-being or security.

Example Sentences

  1. After the storm passed, we found our house still standing and our family safe and sound.
  2. The hikers were relieved to return to base camp safe and sound after their trek through the wilderness.
  3. Thanks to the security system, the valuable artwork arrived at the museum safe and sound.
  4. Despite the car accident, everyone involved emerged safe and sound, with only minor injuries.
  5. With the vaccine rollout complete, the community could finally breathe a sigh of relief, knowing they were safe and sound from the threat of the virus.

Origin and History

The precise origin of the phrase “safe and sound” remains elusive in historical records. However, the earliest known mention dates back to the 14th century. Geoffrey Chaucer used the term “hole and sound,” which carried a similar meaning to “safe and sound” in modern usage.

Following Chaucer, the phrase appeared in the 1570 work “The Schoolmaster,” and shortly after, it was used by William Shakespeare in Act 4, Line 4 of his play “The Comedy of Errors.”

Individually, the words “safe” and “sound” have extensive histories predating their literary references. The term “safe” was used around AD 1300 to denote being unharmed, particularly within Christian teachings. By the early 14th century, “safe” began to be used more broadly outside of religious contexts, with its meaning aligning with its contemporary definition of being free from danger.

In legal contexts, dating back to approximately 1402, “safe” was used to signify freedom from both mental and moral issues. In all usages, “safe” simply conveyed the absence of danger, defect, or harm in various aspects of life.

On the other hand, the term “sound” wasn’t defined as – without harm or injury until; the late 12th century. Over time, the word accrued additional meanings and applications.

“Sound” is derived from the Old English term “gesund,” which traces its roots to Old German and meant “healthy or strong.” In legal contexts, the phrase “sound mind and body” signified being “whole” or complete.

In the drafting of wills, the inclusion of “sound” indicated that the testator was of sound mind and not afflicted by any mental impairments. The term “sound” appears in various ancient languages, such as “gesund” in German, “sund” in Swedish, “soun” in Scottish, “gezond” in Dutch, and “suund” in Saterland Frisian.

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