„The Phrasefinder site was founded in 1997 by Gary Martin, who writes the Meanings and Origins section of the site and the Phrase A Week posts. It grew out of post-graduate research into computational linguistics that was developed in 1985 in a Sheffield Hallam University research project into the use of artificial intelligence techniques to aid the teaching of writing.
The site initially hosted a searchable database of phrases and idioms called The Phrase Thesaurus, which uses artificial intelligence methods to enhance search results.
In 1998 a listing of the meanings and origins of phrases was added. That list of idioms and phrases now contains the origins of more than 2,100 entries – making it the largest such public reference on the Internet.
Late in 1998 a discussion forum was added to the site, where anyone could ask questions on the meaning or origin of phrases and sayings in English. It contains an archive of 70,000 questions and answers about phrase origins and their meanings. The majority of the posted replies have been contributed by a hard-working and exceedingly persistent group of unpaid enthusiasts, some of whom began contributing daily in early 1999.
The forum is now closed to new queries but remains online as a reference archive.“