Whoopi Goldberg turned heads recently when she appeared on "The View" wearing a burgundy hooded T-shirt via a bold statement printed throughout the front of it: "LET THE BRIDGES I BURN LIGHT THE WAY." You deserve to watch her in it here.

You are watching: May the bridges i burn light the way origin

The sweatshirt is no slouch. It"s made by uber-cool fashion brand also Vetements and also will certainly run you a whopping $1,050. The item has been so popular that the label, which defines the runmethod collection where it first appeared as an expedition of "contemporary Americana through recommendations to thrash steel and also youth culture," describes it as their "cult sweatshirt." What you get: a cotton-blend jersey through shoulder pads -- in case, you know, you desire to tackle somebody in it.


For Goldberg, it was a nod to the is-she-or-isn"t-she rumors swirling around her meant leave from the popular all-women talk show. But for other fans of these deluxe sweatshirts, it"s been a means to come across to the masses favor a super feminist that does not offer a ... well, you know. The proclamation of burning bridges sounds prefer somepoint, oh, Joan of Arc can say. In reality: Not exactly.


May the bridges you burn light the method, says Vetements. (Photo credit: Vetements)


It shows up, as evidenced by The Grammarphobia Blog, that the quote was initially spawned on an episode of the Nineties young perkid soap opera, "Beverly Hills 90210." It was spoken by Dylan McKay, played by then-heartthrob Luke Perry, in the time of an attempted treatment as he spun out of manage. The 1994 episode was titled "Things That Go Bang in the Night," and also is one in which we find Dylan "sinking deeper into depravity through tough drugs." Brandon Walsh, played by then-heartthrob Jaboy Priestley, mirrors up to try to sheight Dylan"s devastating cycle.

To wit:

Brandon Walsh: Dylan, at this point in time, I"m simply about the just frifinish you"ve obtained. You sure you desire to perform this? Push me amethod favor you"ve done to everyone else?

Dylan McKay: Yeah! May the bridges I burn light the way!

In other words, if you desire to understand what you"re obtaining for your $1,050 sweatshirt, it"s a quote from a TV show that"s long because been cancelled.


Luckily, fans of the original scene can relive it on YouTube: "May the bridges I burn light the way!"


As the Grammarphobia Blog points out, the history of burning one"s bridges has actually a a lot longer backstory.

"Of course civilization have actually been burning bridges both literally and also figuratively for fairly a while. The figurative expression "to burn one"s bridges behind one" verified up in the late 19th century, according to citations in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The OED"s earliest example is from Mark Twain"s 1892 novel The American Claimant: "It can be pardonable to burn his bridges behind him."

The dictionary defines the expression as "to burn one’s boats," which is defined in other places in the OED as "to reduced oneself off from all possibility of retreat.""

In other words, it"s what you"re not intended to perform when you leave a job, but ... sometimes sweatshirts happen.


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Susannah Breslin

I cover the service of sex. I"ve created for The Atlantic, Harper"s Bazaar, Slate, Salon, and The Daily Beastern. In 2008, TIME named me one of the year"s finest bloggers. I"ve showed up on CNN, NPR, and "Politically Incorrect." To email me, click HERE. To subscribe to my newsletter, click HERE. This blog has actually been cited by The Wall Street Journal, Ad Era, ESPN, BuzzFeed, and also Katie Couric.