Knee-High to a Grasshopper

Volume 2. Issue 2.

What was said? Have you heard of “knee-high to a grasshopper?”

Did someone really say that? Yes, when discussing my idiom newsletter at a colleague’s farewell party, a Partner asked me if I knew of that idiom… which I naturally did not.

What does it mean? Two meanings: 1) To be very young 2) Very short

Used in context :

1) Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I used to play hopscotch.
2) You will need a ladder… you are just about knee-high to a grasshopper!


Originally recorded in 1814 as knee-high to a toad, this American Idiom has taken many forms… knee-high to a frog, bumblebee, splinter, mosquito, jackrabbit and…grasshopper.

In the Democratic Review in 1851 it was said “You pretend to be my daddies; some of you who are not knee-high to a grasshopper!

Among the >17k species of grasshoppers, reaching knee-high to a grasshopper would mean that a person is roughly less than an inch tall… that’s pretty short.


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2 responses to “Knee-High to a Grasshopper

  1. wow, feeling knee-high to a grasshopper now for not knowing that one!

  2. Pingback: Southernisms: Knee High to a Grasshopper | progressiveredneckpreacher

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