Money; so called because it is made of gold-dust. It is said
that Dean Swift took for the text of a charity sermon, “He who giveth
to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.” Having thrice repeated his text, he
added, “Now, brethren, if you like the security, down with your dust.”
That ended his sermon.
The wild Irish peasantry believe that dust is raised on roads by
fairies on a journey, and raise their hats to it, saying, “God speed
you, gentlemen.” The Arabs think the whirlwind and waterspout are
caused by evil jinns.
I'll dust your jacket for you.
Give you a good beating. The allusion is to dusting carpets, etc.,
by beating them with a stick.
To raise a dust, To kick up a dust.
To make a commotion or disturbance. To throw dust in one's eyes.
To mislead. The allusion is to a Mahometan practice of casting dust
into the air for the sake of “confounding” the enemies of the faith.
This was done by Mahomet on two or three occasions, as in the battle of
Honein; and the Koran refers to it when it says, “Neither didst thou, O
Mahomet, cast dust into their eyes; but it was God who confounded
them.” But the following incident will suffice: One day the Koreishites
surrounded the house of Mahomet, resolved to murder him. They peeped
through the crevice of his chamber-door, and saw him lying asleep.
Just at this moment his son-in-law Ali opened the door silently and
threw into the air a handful of dust. Immediately the conspirators were
confounded. They mistook Ali for Mahomet, and Mahomet for Ali; allowed
the prophet to walk through their midst uninjured, and laid hands on
Ali. No sooner was Mahomet safe, than their eyes were opened, and they
saw their mistake.
“When the English king pursued the Imaum who had stolen the daughter
of Allah, Allah threw dust in his eyes to check his pursuit.” —Legend at Gori (respecting the beauty of the Georgians).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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