The canary in a coal mine

Idiom

The canary in a coal mine

Definition

This idiom refers to a warning sign of potential danger ahead.

Examples

John is the canary in a coal mine, alerting us to potential problems before they become too severe,

The recent stock market decline is like a canary in a coal mine, a warning that more falls could be on the way.

Origin

It originated in the early 1900s when miners would bring canaries into the coal mine to detect toxic gases before they became dangerous to humans.

Faqs

question

What does a canary in a coal mine mean?

answer

It means a warning sign of potential danger ahead.

question

Where did this idiom come from?

answer

It originated in the early 1900s when miners would bring canaries into the coal mine to detect toxic gases before they became dangerous to humans.

question

Is this idiom still used today?

answer

Yes, it is still used to refer to a warning sign of potential danger ahead.