The phrase “hard and fast” is an idiomatic expression that is used to describe strict or inflexible rules, principles, or guidelines. It implies a rigid or unwavering approach that allows for no exceptions or deviations. The term can also refer to firmly established and unchanging facts or limits.
The phrase “hard and fast” is often used to emphasize the strictness or immutability of a particular rule or standard. It suggests that there is no room for negotiation, compromise, or flexibility in the given situation.
Example Sentences :
- The company has a hard and fast policy of no smoking within the premises.
- The teacher set hard and fast deadlines for submitting assignments.
- The law has hard and fast requirements for obtaining a driver’s license.
- In this organization, there are hard and fast rules regarding confidentiality.
- He has a hard and fast belief in always telling the truth, no matter what.
- The contract had hard and fast clauses that dictated the terms of the agreement.
- The referee enforced the hard and fast rules of the game, penalizing any infractions.
- There are hard and fast limits on the amount of time allowed for public speaking at the conference.
- She adheres to a hard and fast schedule for her daily routine, never deviating from it.
- The team followed a hard and fast code of conduct to maintain professionalism.
The phrase “hard and fast” has its origins in nautical terminology. In sailing, “hard” refers to the position of a ship’s helm when it is pushed as far as it can go in one direction, while “fast” refers to the ship being securely moored or anchored.
The phrase “hard and fast” was initially used in the context of maneuvering a sailing vessel. When a ship’s helm is turned “hard” in one direction, it means it is pushed all the way, resulting in the ship’s rudder being locked in that position. This causes the ship to sail or steer in a fixed and unyielding manner.
Over time, the nautical term “hard and fast” gained metaphorical usage in broader contexts. It began to be applied to situations that involved strict or unyielding adherence to rules, standards, or principles.
The figurative use of “hard and fast” can be found in written texts as early as the 17th century, and it has since become a common phrase in the English language. Its original nautical meaning of a ship’s helm being fully turned has evolved into its contemporary usage to denote inflexible or unchangeable guidelines or principles.