2

In Russian, we have an expression с лёгкой руки (кого-то), literally "from the light hand (of smbd)", or, if I may, "by the light touch (of smbd)".

It is used when someone coins a new word, or invents a new method of doing something, or comes up with a new idea etc., which catches on and people start using it.

Is there a similar idiomatic expression in English?

Some examples of what I'm looking for:

  • The idea of synthesis via manipulation of single atoms was expressed as early as 1959 by Richard Feynman, but it was not before 1974 that, [by the light touch of Norio Taniguchi], the word "nano-technology" appeared
  • [By the light touch of Sidney Brenner] the biologists got themselves a new test animal: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
  • [By the light touch of Czar Peter the Great] Russians celebrate the New Year on the same day as the Europeans, January 1.
  • 2
    You can use “Thanks to” Russians celebrate the New Year on the same day as the Europeans thanks to Czar Peter the Great. – Jim Oct 29 '18 at 19:09
2

As Jim has pointed out the best equivalent to be applied either end of a sentence is probably,

"Thanks to" or "Because of" or "Due to" or "On account of" (English can be very colloquial)

There are many common synonyms for a "pioneer" which may also be context applied,

avant-garde, creator, discoverer, ground-breaker, innovator, trend-setter, trailblazer

Here is a fair example

Dynamic duo pioneer New Russian cuisine’s most exciting dishes

"But thanks to a new generation of innovative, daring and creative young Russian chefs, that perception is changing fast"

[Later edit] с лёгкой руки Quassnoi, see my nearest English usage "came from the single hand of L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)."

  • Thanks for your answer! This is a valid answer, but, unfortunately, it does not capture the idea of catching on. We could say "thanks to countless efforts of doctors around the world measles is all but extinct by this moment", but we could not use the Russian idiom for that, because it's been a lengthy and painful process rather than something that caught on and spread out. – Quassnoi Oct 30 '18 at 16:08
1

You can also use "(by) courtesy of" in that sense.

The idea of synthesis via manipulation of single atoms was expressed as early as 1959 by Richard Feynman, but it was not before 1974 that, courtesy of Norio Taniguchi, the word "nano-technology" appeared
Courtesy of Sidney Brenner, the biologists got themselves a new test animal: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Courtesy of Czar Peter the Great, Russians celebrate the New Year on the same day as the Europeans, January 1.

ODO:

(by) courtesy of

1.1 [informal] As a result of; thanks to.

-1

You can say that someone 'lit the (blue) touch paper'. A firework analogy for triggering a big reaction.

  • 1
    Thank you for your effort. Stack Exchange answers are “right” answers. Opinions or anecdotes can occasionally be useful, but they are usually not sufficient to show that an answer is right. An answer should include explanation, context, and supporting facts. For example, you could offer peer-reviewed evidence, such as the definition from a good online dictionary. This is what makes answers useful – to the asker, and to future visitors. See: “Real questions have answers, not items or ideas or opinions”. – MetaEd Nov 2 '18 at 18:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.