Life

(Anglo-Saxon, lif.)

Drawn from life.
Drawn or described from some existing person or object. For life. As long as life continues.

For the life of me.
True as I am alive. Even if my life depended on it. A strong asseveration.

“Nor could I, for the life of me, see how the creation of the world had anything to do with what I was talking about.” —Goldsmith; Vicar of Wakefield.

Is life worth living? Schopenhauer decides in the negative. In the “funeral service” we are taught to thank God for delivering the deceased “out of the miseries of this sinful life.” On the other hand, we are told that Jesus called Lazarus from the grave, not by way of punishment, but quite the contrary.

“On days like this, one feels that Schopenhauer is wrong after all, and that life is something really worth living for.” —Grunt Allen: The Curate of Churnside.

Large as life. Of the same size as the object represented. On my life. I will answer for it by my life; as, “Il le fera j'en répondes sur ma vie.” To bear a charmed life. To escape accidents in a marvellous manner.

To know life.
In French, “Savoir vivre”—that is, “Savoir ce que c'est que de vivre.” “Not to know life,” is the contrary— “Ne savoir pas ce que c'est que de vivre.”

To the life.
In exact imitation. “Done to the life.” “Faire le portrait de quelqu'un au naturel” (or) “daprès” nature.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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