Origin of sayings?

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CMAC

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the trooser thread got me thinking about the origin of sayings and reminded me of one I found interesting.......

"Money for old rope" apparently in ye olden days after a hanging the hangman would sell the rope to one of the crowd......bit like trophy hunting I suspect

what ones do you know of?
 

harvey4banger

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A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush

Back to mediaeval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey).
 
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let the cat out of the bag -and- not enough room to swing a cat relates to the cat and nine tails onboard ships

If you would have heard the first in 1700's onwards you were in trouble

Plus this is interesting I thought... The word 'berk' - innocent, quite inoffensive term (something your grandad may call you if you'd be daft or a little scamp) - is short for 'Berkshire Hunt', cockney rhyming slang for cu...

Well you can figure out what hunt rhymes with I'm sure
 

DaveM

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let the cat out of the bag -and- not enough room to swing a cat relates to the cat and nine tails onboard ships

If you would have heard the first in 1700's onwards you were in trouble

Plus this is interesting I thought... The word 'berk' - innocent, quite inoffensive term (something your grandad may call you if you'd be daft or a little scamp) - is short for 'Berkshire Hunt', cockney rhyming slang for cu...

Well you can figure out what hunt rhymes with I'm sure
Let the cat out of the bag. Is the same as buying a pig in a poke. Started in the 16th century. When they would sell piglets in sacks(pokes) sometimes they would sell a bag without showing the contents. When you then got home and opened the bag out would jump a cat. Which would by of no worth unlike a valuable piglet.
Also not enough room to swing a cat has been shown to be written in books (Shakespear) before its use in the royal navy.
 

Bomber69

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Too old a cat to be by a kitten.

2nd worst saying in golf " It's still your turn"
 
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birdieman

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That's Daylight robbery..... relates to the window tax that was brought in a few hundred years ago, look at many old buildings and you'll see a stone recess where windows should really be. People didn't want to pay the tax so opted to have less windows.
 

GB72

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Heard some interesting ones about names given to cowboys that they mentioned on 5 live.

Billy the Kid was not so named because he looked young but because he looked like a goat.

Wild Bill Hicock name was actually James and the 'wild bill' bit was because his top lip was an odd shape and made him look like a duck.
 

sweatysock41

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Let the cat out of the bag. Is the same as buying a pig in a poke. Started in the 16th century. When they would sell piglets in sacks(pokes) sometimes they would sell a bag without showing the contents. When you then got home and opened the bag out would jump a cat. Which would by of no worth unlike a valuable piglet.
Also not enough room to swing a cat has been shown to be written in books (Shakespear) before its use in the royal navy.
You're correct they used to swing cats by the tail as targets for the English Archers to practice on. One reason they were such an effective force in the middle ages.
 
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HomerJSimpson

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Heard some interesting ones about names given to cowboys that they mentioned on 5 live.

Billy the Kid was not so named because he looked young but because he looked like a goat.

Wild Bill Hicock name was actually James and the 'wild bill' bit was because his top lip was an odd shape and made him look like a duck.
Bet not too many people told them that to their faces though
 

Lawrence22

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Freeze the balls of a brass monkey is a naval one. The monkey being a square brass frame that the cannon balls were stacked on. In cold weather water would freeze between the balls displacing them, when it thawed the cannonballs would spill over the deck.
 
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CMAC

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Freeze the balls of a brass monkey is a naval one. The monkey being a square brass frame that the cannon balls were stacked on. In cold weather water would freeze between the balls displacing them, when it thawed the cannonballs would spill over the deck.
good one, not a lotta people know that
 
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Got me thinking too. I tried the global library that is google, and there are as many people suggesting blue and green as there are suggesting red and green, or pink and green, or ....... but unfortunately, none come up with anyone laying claim to the origin of the saying, although a lot refer to their grandma
 
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Let the cat out of the bag. Is the same as buying a pig in a poke. Started in the 16th century. When they would sell piglets in sacks(pokes) sometimes they would sell a bag without showing the contents. When you then got home and opened the bag out would jump a cat. Which would by of no worth unlike a valuable piglet.
Also not enough room to swing a cat has been shown to be written in books (Shakespear) before its use in the royal navy.

I heard just that on the Steve Wright show in the last few days.
 
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MadAdey

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Calling your misses 'her indoors'................
Cause that is where they should be on a Saturday not taking 5 hours to get round my golf course............LOL;)

SORRY LADIES THIS IS JUST MEANT IN JEST AND IS NOT IN ANY WAY MEANT TO BE A SEXIST COMMENT:eek:
 

papyt

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WOW!!!! thats the one for sir, normaly after you have duck hooked the £400+ driver the spotty kid at the golf superstore is trying to flog you.
 
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Snelly

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In a nutshell is a good one. I recall that it is used as a monk dedicated a major part of his life to writing out the bible in a type so small that when finished, the book could fit into a walnut shell. Amazing.
 
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