Idiom 110 – The ether

Yesterday I was working on an important report that I have to give to my boss today. I’m sure I left it on my desk yesterday when I left the office. But when I came in today, it wasn’t there. I’ve looked everywhere, I just can’t find it – it’s disappeared into the ether (das Nichts).

In the modern scientific world, ether is a chemical  which is used as a solvent and, formerly, as an anesthetic. But idioms referring to the ether generally come from an older meaning. Ether was a substance once believed to fill all space beyond the  the moon, holding in it the stars and planets and providing a medium for light to travel through. It was invisible and mysterious.