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Old 08-18-03, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How it came to be...

Darlene's story made me think of one of my favorite hobbies... finding out why things are the way they are!

Ever wonder where some strange sayings came from?

Rule of thumb:
From old English law... which stated that a man could not beat his wife with anything thicker than his thumb.

Its cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey:
From the old sailing days... Iron cannon balls were sat in brass rings called a monkey. When it was cold enough, the brass rings contracted more than the iron in the cannon balls causing them to fall off... hence the balls were frozen off the brass monkey.

The whole 9 yards:
Back in the days when women still made their own dresses... fabric came on spools 9 yards in length. When they wanted to make an elaborate dress it would take a lot more fabric, therefore they went the whole 9 yards.

I have lots more to share... but I would like to hear some of yours too! Anyone have more?
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Old 08-18-03, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i dont have any. but i accualy realy wonderd about the whole 9 yards! and i found my anser on a snake site!
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Old 08-18-03, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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These are the kind of things that make us think! My mother used to have exchange students frustrated with English, and some of the words we use make no sense, or have a very vague tone. Some of these are : yet, just, already, and is there a difference in the amount you get if you want more, any more, or some more coffee?

One got mad because my aunt asked if he wanted to "run" to the store with her, and then she drove the car

I always laugh when I tell Ryan that something is broken and needs fixing, and he says he will "look at it". I already "looked at it" and determined its broken, what I need him to do is FIX IT.
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Old 08-18-03, 02:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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COOL STUFF CHRIS.
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Old 08-18-03, 03:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Really neat, Chris. Thanks for the thought provoking thread !!!
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Old 08-18-03, 03:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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wow that's cool. I never knew that
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Old 08-18-03, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How it came to be...

Quote:
Originally posted by OttawaChris
The whole 9 yards:
Back in the days when women still made their own dresses... fabric came on spools 9 yards in length. When they wanted to make an elaborate dress it would take a lot more fabric, therefore they went the whole 9 yards.
I'm afraid you're wrong on this one. The origin of this phrase was from World War II. The combat planes used to use the strips of bullets, which measures 9 yards long. When they emptied an entire clip on an opponent, they gave the opponent "The whole 9 yards".

Here's another fascinating one for you:

THE ORIGIN OF GIVING SOMEONE THE MIDDLE FINGER

Back when England was at war with France (I don't remember the years), France was well known for having the best archers in Europe. If an archer was captured by the English troops, they would cut off the index and middle fingers of an archer so as to make it impossible for them to knock an arrow. The middle finger became a way for the French to taunt the english, as though to say "You haven't caught me yet, and I can still knock an arrow and kill you."
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Old 08-19-03, 06:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have heard the bullet strips as the origin of that one too... have read both explainations on them.

Here is one I read about (I don't believe everything I read but it makes sense) Hopefully the moderators take this with a grain of salt lol

The word s-h-i-t actually started out as an acronym...

In the old days of sailing, some of the goods shipped were dried bales of manure. When kept in the cargo hold, they often got a little damp and started to ferment. This caused methane gas to form and when the sailors came into the hold with a candle or lantern the hold would explode. After losing a few ships to these explosions they finally resorted to special markings on the bales of manure... Ship High In Transit.... or for short... S-H-I-T
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