where did that saying come from?

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paul.fr

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where did that saying come from?
« on: 11/12/2008 22:46:47 »
Have you heard a saying or phrase and wondered where it originated? Well why not have the clever clogs of the forum fill you in!

to start off:

where did this saying originate:

"she was so ugly that when she was a kid, her mummy had to tie pork chops around her neck so that the dog would play with her". I heard this today for the first time and it made me chuckle.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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where did that saying come from?
« Reply #1 on: 11/12/2008 23:00:30 »
I first heard that said by Les Dawson.
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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where did that saying come from?
« Reply #2 on: 11/12/2008 23:01:05 »
A saying that has always baffled me is "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs". What's all that about?
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Offline Chemistry4me

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where did that saying come from?
« Reply #3 on: 11/12/2008 23:30:44 »
A saying that has always baffled me is "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs". What's all that about?
In what context was that said?

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Offline turnipsock

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« Reply #4 on: 12/12/2008 00:45:20 »
I'm sure there is a book about all this sort of stuff. It was mentioned on the Fred MacAully program recently.
Beeswax: Natures petrol tank sealant.

When things are in 3D, is it always the same three dimensions?

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Offline RD

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« Reply #5 on: 12/12/2008 01:11:19 »
This sounds a plausible explanation for "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs" ...

Quote
My understanding of it is that the person has just heard an amazing piece of information which is so important that it needs to be communicated immediately to the other people in the household (who happen to be upstairs). Therefore you go to the foot of the stairs in order to shout it up to the others so that they can hear.
http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases-and-Sayings/Question13527.html

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Offline LeeE

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« Reply #6 on: 12/12/2008 02:16:32 »
The 'foot' of something can be equated with the 'root' or origin of something.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #7 on: 12/12/2008 09:33:53 »
The one that has always confused me is, after being told a piece of gossip people will say 'well I never' or 'well I never did'.

But the one I like is the exclamation 'Gordon Bennett'. There are many different ideas on where and how this originated including the most popularly accepted James Gordon Bennett. But the one I prefer is that off the Sheffield WW1 RAF pilot who after the war took to performing aerial acrobatics. His 'pièce de résistance ' being his flight through a barn, open at both ends, to which the audience would exclaim 'Gordon Bennett!'
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #8 on: 12/12/2008 09:43:47 »
I heard that Gordon Bennett was an eccentric who used to go into restaurants and pull off the table cloths of other diners' tables. It was locally known that he did this, and when he was seen, people would say "Gordon Bennett!". I think that this is from one of Bill Bryson's books, perhaps "Made in America".

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blakestyger

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where did that saying come from?
« Reply #9 on: 12/12/2008 12:55:04 »
The one that has always confused me is, after being told a piece of gossip people will say 'well I never' or 'well I never did'.

This is a shortened form of 'Well I never heard (did hear) anything like that before'

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paul.fr

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« Reply #10 on: 12/12/2008 13:09:23 »
What about "Jesus H Christ!" why is the H in there?

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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #11 on: 12/12/2008 13:16:00 »
his middle name was Houdini. How do you think he got out of that cave?

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #12 on: 12/12/2008 13:38:25 »
What about "Jesus H Christ!" why is the H in there?

I was just about to ask that!
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #13 on: 12/12/2008 13:41:59 »
This sounds a plausible explanation for "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs" ...

Quote
My understanding of it is that the person has just heard an amazing piece of information which is so important that it needs to be communicated immediately to the other people in the household (who happen to be upstairs). Therefore you go to the foot of the stairs in order to shout it up to the others so that they can hear.
http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases-and-Sayings/Question13527.html


Why not just say "I'll have to tell the others"? Or what if they were in the garden?
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Offline RD

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« Reply #14 on: 12/12/2008 14:04:53 »
Christogram, (no not a Jesus impersonator who delivers a messsage), his logo ...

[attachment=5815]

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #15 on: 12/12/2008 14:09:25 »
Christogram - I've just pictured a stripping Jesus delivering a birthday message  [;D]
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Offline RD

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« Reply #16 on: 12/12/2008 14:13:46 »
Why not just say "I'll have to tell the others"? Or what if they were in the garden?

I think the phrase would have originated in communities where they did not have a garden,
(e.g. "Coronation Street" type 2up-2down houses).

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #17 on: 12/12/2008 14:16:15 »
OK then - why not "I'll go to the front door and tell the whole bloody street"!
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Offline RD

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« Reply #18 on: 12/12/2008 14:34:41 »
...tell the whole bloody street

I think that expression is reserved for embarrassing information which one would rather not leave the home.


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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #19 on: 12/12/2008 15:01:24 »
...tell the whole bloody street

I think that expression is reserved for embarrassing information which one would rather not leave the home.



Too late. I've been on to The News Of The World.
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #20 on: 12/12/2008 16:17:12 »
The one that has always confused me is, after being told a piece of gossip people will say 'well I never' or 'well I never did'.

This is a shortened form of 'Well I never heard (did hear) anything like that before'

Well I never did!!! Thank you. It's quite obvious now have pointed that out.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #21 on: 12/12/2008 16:18:39 »
Now, what about, 'I'll be a monkey's uncle'?
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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blakestyger

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« Reply #22 on: 12/12/2008 16:29:29 »
It means 'that can't be true'. I'll wager a pound to a yard of tripe that it dates from the controversy following the Origin of Species in 1859 - or perhaps the Scopes trial era, 1920s.

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Offline elegantlywasted

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« Reply #23 on: 12/12/2008 16:38:40 »
Now, what about, 'I'll be a monkey's uncle'?

No idea about this one but it makes me think of "Bob's your uncle"... Who's Bob?
-Meg

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Offline rosy

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« Reply #24 on: 12/12/2008 16:52:26 »
I don't know what the origins of saying "Gordon Bennet" are, but I suspect it's persisted because people start saying "Oh Go..." and then remember that there are children/ladies/ministers present and divert from the coming blasphemy to something less contentious. As for "Oh s..ugar!" and "Oh f..lipping heck".

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blakestyger

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« Reply #25 on: 12/12/2008 17:00:05 »
No idea about this one but it makes me think of "Bob's your uncle"... Who's Bob?

When Prime Minister Lord (Robert) Salisbury made his nephew (Balfour) up to a senior government post in Ireland in 1887 it was seen as nepotism. It's possible that 'Bob's your uncle' referred to this kind of easy passage into high office, or a good life.
That doesn't explain 'Fanny's your aunt' though.

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paul.fr

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« Reply #26 on: 12/12/2008 17:19:40 »
wAHT ABOUT, Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey?

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #27 on: 12/12/2008 17:50:22 »
Speaking of Fanny, one of the best unintentional lines was by Johnny Craddock (for the US Fanny & Johnny Craddock were early TV celebtity cooks, Fanny did the cooking while Johnny passed things to her and swigged at the cooking sherry).

After making some doughnuts (dohnuts) Fanny showed them to camera and Johnny said "I hope your doughnuts turn out like Fannies".
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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blakestyger

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« Reply #28 on: 12/12/2008 18:29:46 »
LOL doughnuts like Fannies [;D]

On HMS Victory you can see canon balls stacked pyramidally on a ring of brass (a monkey) on the deck to the side of the gun's trucks. The explanation is that in cold weather it would shrink and tip the ordinance off.

There are problems with this account, apparently to do with brass not contracting enough to cause this and the original phrase being recorded as freezing the tail off a brass monkey. I'll add another to that - there was already a monkey on board eighteenth-century ships of the line; boys sent to the magazines for fresh supplies in battle were called 'powder monkeys'.
« Last Edit: 13/12/2008 09:45:54 by blakestyger »

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Offline elegantlywasted

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« Reply #29 on: 13/12/2008 02:04:54 »
No idea about this one but it makes me think of "Bob's your uncle"... Who's Bob?

When Prime Minister Lord (Robert) Salisbury made his nephew (Balfour) up to a senior government post in Ireland in 1887 it was seen as nepotism. It's possible that 'Bob's your uncle' referred to this kind of easy passage into high office, or a good life.
That doesn't explain 'Fanny's your aunt' though.

Thanks blakestyger!
-Meg

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Offline LeeE

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« Reply #30 on: 13/12/2008 13:26:03 »
Quote
I hope your doughnuts turn out like Fannies

Then there was the cricket commentator who came up with the line:

"The batsman's Holding, the Bowler's Willy"

...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #31 on: 15/12/2008 08:22:03 »
wAHT ABOUT, Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey?

I think that this is a nautical term - the balls are cannon balls, and the brass monkey was a small cannon. I think.