Idiom 108 – Go the extra mile

The LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule is today presenting an idiom with roots (like so many idioms) in the Bible.

We have decided to stay with our IT service provider. They are not the cheapest, but they always go the extra mile (sich besonders anstrengen), which is very important when your company is as dependent on its IT systems as ours is.

During the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Ch 5 v 41) Jesus says, „whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.“

This refers to a law which gave a marching Roman soldier the right to demand that any passing Jewish citizen carry his equipment for a mile. Jesus wanted his followers not just to do this but to go a second mile voluntarily. In the short Bible passage above we also see the origin of the idioms „turn the other cheek“ and „give the shirt off your back“