To Keep Harping On Something

This phrase means to be a bore by dwelling tediously on a subject, to talk or write endlessly on the same topic, or to keep bringing up the same point in an argument over and over again i.e. to ‘keep harping on the same string’. The phrase is age old as indeed is the harp. It was very popular in Victorian times during the musical evenings in the home when daughters were encouraged by their parents to ‘delight’ the guests in the drawing room with the harp’s graceful tomes, as well as their own airs and graces.  Most were unmusical on what is one of the most difficult instruments to play.

Words by Adam Jacot de Boinod, author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books and creator of the iPhone App Tingo, a quiz on Interesting Words

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