Monday, March 1, 2010

Origin of Idioms

I read these in a forwarded email so I can't swear they're all true - but they are interesting!

Many years ago in Scotland a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only.. Ladies Forbidden .. and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language!

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase.. 'Good night - sleep tight.'

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey wine and because the calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs ale is ordered by pints and quarts, so in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts and settle down.' It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's.'

Many years ago in England pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.


Jan said...


John Ettorre said...

So you'd have to put those under the heading of Interesting If True.

KallyLou said...

Your posts are inspiring... need to set the record straight on the origin of 'GOLF'
which has become widely accepted and inclusive for women!