Does anyone know the origin of the idiom 'shifting sands' please? I have struggled to find tis in idiom and phrase dictionaries.

Thanks in advance

  • 1
    There is a sands of time idiom and there is a song title shifting sands of time. – Nigel J May 3 '18 at 13:22
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    And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:26-27 – Chaim May 3 '18 at 18:41
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    And as I gaze, these narrow walls expand; Before my dreamy eye / Stretches the desert with its shifting sand, Its unimpeded sky. - Sand of the Desert in an Hour-Glass, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Chaim May 3 '18 at 18:46
  • 2
    Our lives are but specks of dust falling through the fingers of time. Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” — Socrates – k1eran May 4 '18 at 1:35
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune – Hot Licks Jun 3 '18 at 2:18

Just a fairly mundane literal origin, no? About the way sandbanks move around in a river or estuary, making life a bit risky at times for boatmen.

  • And/or about the way sand is in constant motion in sandy deserts and banks of sand dunes. – BoldBen Jun 2 '18 at 21:13

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