via Daily Prompt: Scent

Many of the idioms and phrases in use today were born when man was following his earlier occupations like food-gathering, fishing and hunting and later on farming and rearing livestock. “Wind fall” is a good example – meaning unexpected luck. The wind came to the fruit-gatherer’s aid so that he could collect fruits without the difficulty of climbing on the tree or pelting stones at the fruits. The corrupt official was caught by a bait offered to him is another example born out of the fishing occupation. When we say that “the criminal got scent of the police presence and disappeared from the scene”, you borrow a word from the hunting occupation. Any hunter worth his salt knows that a quarry animal should be followed upwind – that is, the wind should blow from the animal to the hunter. Otherwise, the animal catches the scent of the hunter and scoots away. It has been recorded by a hunter that a panther rolled on cattle dung before stalking his prey, so that his scent could be drowned in the smell of the cattle dung.


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