Blessing In Disguise – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you having an awful day after getting fired? Was this job your only source of income? That sounds extremely depressing, but if you look at things in a different light it may actually be a blessing in disguise.

There are a lot of things in life that may seem terrible from the outset but they actually set you up for better things in the future. These instances are blessings that are disguised are curses which can be hard to understand when they first occur.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

A blessing in disguise is a well-known idiom that initially refers to a positive outlook on an uncertain situation, meaning that something that at first glance appears to be wrong, turns out to be completely opposite.

When used in a conversation, it typically holds a deeper meaning as “whatever happens, happens for good and there might be a hidden agenda behind it that will bring positive outcomes in the future.”

In most cases the phrase is used to provide encouragement to people facing tough situations. Giving a person home that the current bad situation will turn into something better is the epitome of being a blessing in disguise. For example, breaking up with an emotionally abusive partner and later going on to marry someone who treats you like royalty will have been a blessing in disguise.

Example Usage

“Since he married his nurse, his condition was a blessing in disguise”.

“For some people, not being accepted to an Ivy League is a blessing in disguise”.

“Being forced to wait for your paycheck is a blessing in disguise since you can’t splurge”.

“Try to look at the situation at hand as a blessing in disguise instead of as a curse”.

“Him leaving you before you got pregnant was really a blessing in disguise Jill”.

Origin

The origin of this idiom came from a song with the same name.  “Since all the downward tracts of time” by James Harvey (1714–1758) was first published in “Reflections on a Flower Garden.” In a letter to a lady (approximately in 1746). This publishing is among the first recorded text that contained the idiom and it has been used widely ever since.

Though it was published in his most renowned volume, Meditation, and Contemplation, it was actually composed much earlier. Harvey mediated on the wisdom that accepting whatever God has given us, even at first glance, which appears to be adverse, is a blessing in disguise.

Since then, this phrase has been widely used to comfort people who have experienced bad situations, and is still in use today.

Phrases Similar to a Blessing in Disguise

  • A silver lining
  • Mixed Blessings
  • Boon in disguise
  • Double-edged sword
  • Curate’s egg
  • Ambiguous thing

Phrases Opposite to Blessing in Disguise

  • Poisoned chalice
  • Trap in disguise
  • Poisoned gift

What is The Correct Saying?

  • A blessing in disguise.

Ways People May Incorrectly Say a Blessing in Disguise

  • The phrase “a blessing in disguise” mainly indicates a positive perspective, but in typical circumstances, people might take its meaning on a completely wrong track.
  • Getting fired was a blessing in disguise, now you can sleep all day.
  • Not knowing where you are going next can be a blessing in disguise because then you won’t be disappointed.
  • I forgot to eat breakfast, but that was a blessing in disguise since I had a big lunch.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase a Blessing in Disguise

In a conversation, you can use this idiom if the other person shares a sad incident from their past that ultimately led them to a good outcome.

  • We lost a lot of fish today, but it may be a blessing in disguise.
  • The failure of the trade talks in the summer may be a blessing in disguise when the winter rolls around.
  • You never know, being passed over this time may be a blessing in disguise that makes you available for an even better opportunity.

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