l\'écriture sur le mur
This idiom, which translates almost identically between French and English (\”the writing on the wall\” — although the French version sounds much better) originates from the Biblical book of Daniel. Supernatural fingers appear out of nowhere as King Belshazzar of Babylon and his court are having a feast, spelling the imminent demise of the Babylonian Empire. Now the phrase is commonly used to describe impending misfortune, which I think is pretty cool.
But search that up in Urban Dictionary and you\’re more likely to find something about Facebook.
Can new idioms with actual stories behind them still be created these days? If more archaic, but far more interesting expressions are falling out of use thanks to mutation after mutation of modern slang, perhaps the writing\’s on the wall for the complexity, subtlety, and expressiveness of language…