What does the expression “an itching foot” mean and Where did it originate?

Though it is only within the past fifty years, apparently, that we in America have used the phrase “an itching foot” to mean a craving to travel, we have ancient precedent for such a figurative expression.

Away back in the thirteenth century a writer used “an itching ear” to mean a craving to hear gossip, and, later, one with “an itching tongue” was one with an inordinate desire to repeat gossip.

Even today one with “an itching palm” craves money. There seems no end to the itching that one may have.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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