Friday, September 10, 2010

The Origin of Phrases - Part 1

A fate worse than death
This phrase became popular with the invention of the job ‘waitress.’

A fish out of water
Originally used to describe people who, when in a place or situation they are unfamiliar with, proceed to flop around on the floor for a bit before suffocating.

A foot in the door
In the aftermath of a grizzly murder, a dismembered foot became lodged in the letter slot of the victim's front door. This angered the postman, who complained to the council that it was impairing his ability to do his job properly. Postmen are no longer legally obligated to put mail through any slot that contains a human limb.

A picture is worth a thousand words
This line was used by one particular trickster who managed to purchase several valuable artworks by trading short stories about the exploits of a promiscuous rabbit named ‘Bunny.’

A skeleton in the closet
See ‘a foot in the door’ and fill in the blanks.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing
Sheep clothing used to be far cheaper than wolf clothing, and due to the state of the economic climate, many wolves decided to settle.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
An early break up line preferred by many to ‘I would quite like you to go away’ and ‘You shit me.’

Age before beauty
An early pick up line used by old men at medieval speed dating nights in an attempt to convince the young wenches to go to bed with them instead of the sexy young chain-mail-clad knights.

All that glitters is not gold
This lesson was learned during the great glitter swindle of 1922.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
After learning of the direct link between garlic and keeping vampires at bay, a young man mistakenly believed that the best way to spread the message was through a game of Chinese whispers. Hundreds of people needlessly died.

All the tea in China
China was without tea for a brief period in the 1960s when an eccentric millionaire bought it all. He just really liked tea.

An eye for an eye
The equivalent of ‘take a penny, leave a penny’ from the days when eyes were used as currency.

As busy as a bee
Before Albert Einstein invented science it was widely accepted by mankind that bees controlled the universe.

As cool as a cucumber
Used in the days before refrigeration to imply that someone was quite hot.

As easy as pie
Highlighted in the film ‘American Pie,’ pies are generally up for it anytime, anywhere, with anyone.

As happy as Larry
Larry owned a pie shop.


Jasmine said...

U are freakin brilliant my friend...

Lauren Brown said...

Many thanks to you, m'lady :)