“writing is on the wall”

When you say that the handwriting or writing is on the wall, what you mean is that something disastrous or bad is going to happen.

* When the team lost in the first round of the playoffs, the writing was on the wall for the coach. * Prabhakar saw the handwriting on the wall when the company fired two more people.

The expression “handwriting on the wall” comes from the Bible. The King of Babylon, Belshazzar, sees a hand mysteriously appear and write a message on a wall. Being unable to decipher the message, he summons Daniel. The wise man tells Belshazzar that the message is a warning from God that he will soon be overthrown and his kingdom destroyed.

S. UPENDRAN, The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, April 25, 2005


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