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Having a gut feeling means to have an instinctive feeling about something; intuition.
This phrase possibly originates from the strong emotions we often feel in our chest or stomach (gut) regions. For example, when a person feels nervous, they may feel a fluttery sensation within their gut. Some describe that feeling as having "butterflies in the stomach."
Humans have always felt powerful emotions within themselves! For instance, thousands of years ago in the Bible, at Song of Soloman 5:4, it was written:
"My dear one himself pulled back his hand from the hole [of the door], and my inward parts themselves
became boisterous within me."
Today, it just seems that the heart and gut areas on a person's body have become the two most popular places to describe where emotions are being felt.
Note: The definitions for popular sayings can be found quite easily, but finding the phrase origins proves far more difficult. Looking back through history, it's tough to find the place or person in which a phrase has its roots. We are limited to what can be found in writings, such as books, poems, newspapers, and plays. Often times, phrases will be quoted from old newspapers or books.
The phrases that are quoted are likely already commonly known, and have their origins elsewhere. For instance, just because an idiom shows up in a newspaper from 1850, does not mean the idiom originated from that newspaper. However, what that does tell you, is that the phrase was being used since 1850, so its origins are at least more than 150 years old.
* My friend Irvine called and asked if I wanted to see a movie with him, and while my gut feeling was to say no because of how busy I was, I accepted the invitation anyways since I needed a break from my work.
* When I'm taking a quiz, I tend to always go with my gut feeling rather than second guess myself.