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Did You Know? Series #3 Options
hedy mmm
Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4:02:49 PM

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Joined: 7/29/2014
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Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Do You Know Historical Data?

Dear Learners,
The origin of some idioms are listed below...funny and thought provoking for some...whatever you ream, just don't kill the messenger...I just like to have fun and share it...(especially since a powerful storm is dumping up to 18 inches of snow in my 'neck of the woods', marking the fourth nor'easter to smack the region in three weeks, yikes!)....so, have fun reading!


Did you know the saying "God willing and the Creek don't rise" was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington. In his response, he was said to write, "God willing and the Creek don't rise." Because he capitalized the word "Creek" it is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.
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In George Washington's day, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs', therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)
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In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair-man'. Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board'.
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Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades...' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck..'
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Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip' some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
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At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase, 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.

"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
mcurrent
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 1:02:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2013
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Hi, hedy mmm. Your post is interesting, especially infromation about George Washington.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 3:09:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Sadly, a couple of them are "false news", but fun anyway!

"[i]nvestigations by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2007 when revising the entry turned up early examples of the use of Ps and Qs to mean learning the alphabet. The first is in a poem by Charles Churchill, published in 1763:
“On all occasions next the chair
He stands for service of the Mayor,
And to instruct him how to use
His A’s and B’s, and P’s and Q’s.”
The conclusion must be that this is the true origin."


'Politicians' in the Middle ages did not need (or WANT) to know what the local people thought - and the word 'gossip' dates back even earlier than that.
[Old English godsibb godparent, from god + sib; the term came to be applied to familiar friends, esp a woman's female friends at the birth of a child, hence a person, esp a woman, fond of light talk]

I like the 'arm and a leg' one!


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 5:46:26 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Indeed - no-one ever sat on the floor - the floor was covered in rushes. They used trestle benches.

And the word "gossip" is not only much also much earlier - but it became common currency as referring to a woman's female friends. Thus it was used as a very common noun right into the early 19thC.

Unfortunately the exact derivation of "It'll cost you an arm and a leg" is not actually known - but it derives from the 20thC. It is commonly thought to have derived either from the 1st or 2nd World War - for reasons which are a bit obvious: if a little gruesome!

Though there certainly was a tax once on playing cards, that was about 500 years ago. The "not playing with a full deck" idiom has only been with us since the 1980s - a long time after George Washington's day!It sprang up in America along with a lot of other ways to describe someone who wasn't too bright. In Australia the favourite for a while was "He's a stubby short of a six-pack." (a stubby being a bottle of beer.)

Drago - the 'p's and 'q's debate has been going on a while, with most people placing it in the early days of printing - even though that was considered spurious to many scholars. It's good the Oxford has finally sorted that one out!!





Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:34:33 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,057
Neurons: 166,621
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - the origin of 'ps & qs' I have "always known" was very similar to the one hedy gave.
The 'tally-board' in a tavern, used so locals could just keep drinking and pay later, was supposed to be marked 'p' or 'q' - for 'pint' and 'quart'.
(It's a long time since anyone bought a quart glass of beer, though).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 8:03:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 920
Neurons: 5,849
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Romany wrote:
Indeed - no-one ever sat on the floor - the floor was covered in rushes. They used trestle benches.

And the word "gossip" is not only much also much earlier - but it became common currency as referring to a woman's female friends. Thus it was used as a very common noun right into the early 19thC.

Unfortunately the exact derivation of "It'll cost you an arm and a leg" is not actually known - but it derives from the 20thC. It is commonly thought to have derived either from the 1st or 2nd World War - for reasons which are a bit obvious: if a little gruesome!

Though there certainly was a tax once on playing cards, that was about 500 years ago. The "not playing with a full deck" idiom has only been with us since the 1980s - a long time after George Washington's day!It sprang up in America along with a lot of other ways to describe someone who wasn't too bright. In Australia the favourite for a while was "He's a stubby short of a six-pack." (a stubby being a bottle of beer.)

Drago - the 'p's and 'q's debate has been going on a while, with most people placing it in the early days of printing - even though that was considered spurious to many scholars. It's good the Oxford has finally sorted that one out!!







An given what people's behaviour was back then no one would have sat in those rushes if they could help it, people spat on the floor, urinated and defecated into them sometimes. In poor homes livestock might be brought in at night to protect them from being stolen and animal manure could be added to the mix.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 11:51:33 AM

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Joined: 10/20/2015
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I had intellectual fun reading your post!
I like all those written in the thread.

Thanks, hedy!





What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
hedy mmm
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 1:44:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 1,066
Neurons: 493,104
Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Thank you Frosty X Rime,Applause DragOnspeaker,Applause Sarrriesfan,Applause for your accolades and comments...mcurrent, Applause the comment about George Washington is ACTUALLY known...so don't believe otherwise!

There are plenty origins of myths, legends & historical info...nonetheless, this was to be a fun read which provokes the mind...if it got a poster to 'actually read a book'Brick wall it was worth it!

If I only imparted "Intellectual fun" to you Frosty X Rime, It was well worth it!...I usually provide the source of a thread's info, but didn't here, because it was more for funsake not to...and I knew I would raise some hackles...(now, that was fun)Dancing
hedyWhistle


"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
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