The Origin of Expressions

ElizabethB

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I had an appointment with my hairdresser this afternoon. One of the hairdressers an her client were talking about expressions.

mickey Poor - you were so poor that you sold your urine to tanneries. Aged urine turned to ammonia and was used to cure and whiten leather.
mickey Pot Poor - you were so poor that you could not afford a pot to mickey in and could not even sell your urine

Have you ever heard the term "86 it"?
As in get out.
In 2000 I had the privileged of spending 3 weeks in Manhattan complements of Uncle Sam (USNR). My duty was to work security at the main facility for an International Navy Review. A VERY big deal. We worked long hours but had nice time off. My best Navy friend was with me. We met a couple of NYC Undercover Cops. NYC's version of the FBI. They took us out one night to places that the average tourist would never see. One place was Chumley's Speakeasy Bar at 86 Bedford St. in Greenwich Village. There is no address or sign on the door. There are multiple exits. Legend has it that during prohibition the owners had contacts with the NYPD. When a raid was planned the owners would receive a call saying "86 it". Get the clients out of the bar.
The walls are covered with pictures of Hollywood Celebrities and well known Gangsters - MAFIA wise guys.

So what expression do you know the history of?

I know FUBAR but will not spell it out for your.
 

rascal

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I had an appointment with my hairdresser this afternoon. One of the hairdressers an her client were talking about expressions.

mickey Poor - you were so poor that you sold your urine to tanneries. Aged urine turned to ammonia and was used to cure and whiten leather.
mickey Pot Poor - you were so poor that you could not afford a pot to mickey in and could not even sell your urine

Have you ever heard the term "86 it"?
As in get out.
In 2000 I had the privileged of spending 3 weeks in Manhattan complements of Uncle Sam (USNR). My duty was to work security at the main facility for an International Navy Review. A VERY big deal. We worked long hours but had nice time off. My best Navy friend was with me. We met a couple of NYC Undercover Cops. NYC's version of the FBI. They took us out one night to places that the average tourist would never see. One place was Chumley's Speakeasy Bar at 86 Bedford St. in Greenwich Village. There is no address or sign on the door. There are multiple exits. Legend has it that during prohibition the owners had contacts with the NYPD. When a raid was planned the owners would receive a call saying "86 it". Get the clients out of the bar.
The walls are covered with pictures of Hollywood Celebrities and well known Gangsters - MAFIA wise guys.

So what expression do you know the history of?

I know FUBAR but will not spell it out for your.

Down here we use a lot of English expressions, in my case my paternal family came to nz from Cornwall. U.K. Sayings that give me a grin when I see mg and a few others type them in their posts. Some murican I have no idea, hush puppies are shoes here. Lol. I'm trying to think of some at the moment, one I always remember my nana saying was, I used to stay with nana and granddad growing up in the weekends a lot. I was about 10 or so, and I'd watch movies or shows and the stories might be a bit far fetched, so right at the end, my nana would say , and what did the band play Russell, I didn't know until a few times. Her reply was: the band played believe if you like. I still use this saying. And our kids do as well.
I was in London many years ago and caught up with my cousin who was in banking and lived in Kensington. My wife and I went out with my cousin and his English girlfriend. We hit it off really good. My cousin said to me I was funny and asked if my brothers were like me, I said my younger brother was a real hard case. Here if means funny and witty, in the uk it means a hardened criminal. My cousin corrected her,lol. Btw my cousin was a complete bore, she was good value. She left him a year later. I understood why,lol.

Russ
 

caseydog

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Have you ever heard the term "86 it"?

One place was Chumley's Speakeasy Bar at 86 Bedford St. in Greenwich Village. There is no address or sign on the door. There are multiple exits. Legend has it that during prohibition the owners had contacts with the NYPD. When a raid was planned the owners would receive a call saying "86 it". Get the clients out of the bar.
The walls are covered with pictures of Hollywood Celebrities and well known Gangsters - MAFIA wise guys.

So what expression do you know the history of?

Been there. A friend I worked with took me there, and he knew the staff. I saw the door.

The term "eighty-sixed" has more than one meaning in the food world. It also refers to a menu item being taken off the menu.

The door story is pure coincidence with the menu thing, as that door just happened to open on to 86th street in Lower Manhattan. At least that's what the bartender told me.

My friend/coworker always took good care of me in NYC. Young guy. Smart. Full of energy. We'd stay out til dawn if I didn't pull the plug at 2 or 3AM.

He lived about 10 blocks from Ground Zero. He saw the towers fall, and had friends who worked there. I left that company, but was up there about 8 months later. We had drinks (many). I learned a lot about real loss.

CD
 

ElizabethB

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I was in NYC July 2000. Had a cocktail and appetizer at Windows on the World restaurant in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I also have a photo of the towers taken from a prove cruise of the Hudson River.

I was doing a couple of days extra duty for points at my Reserve Center when the attack happened. I voluntarily worked at the reserve center for a month following the attacks going home on weekends. I had a small landscaping business and could do that. September is not as busy as spring. Anything needing my personal attention I could do over the weekend. I had 2 men who could run jobs for me.

Off track. Immediately after the attacks we were told not to appear in public in uniform. When allowed to wear uniforms in public again I was shocked and touched to tears by stranger coming up to me and thanking me for my service. At that time I had 18 years combined active duty and reserve service. Never had I experienced such an outpouring of love and appreciation for the men and women who serve in the military, as fire fighters, police officers and first responders.

Back to origins of common expressions. Who else has one?
 

Backbay

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Dead Ringer.. always heard it was derived from tying bells to people's fingers before burying in the event they were still alive and could ring the bell. I have also heard it has something to do with horse racing under a false name/pedigree..

Casey Dog.....any input? Don't know why but, figured you might know the origin 🤔
 

ElizabethB

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I have heard of that. A bell was placed on the outside of the grave with a string running from the bell to the finger of the dead person. It obviously predates embalming.

My Dad's eldest sibling did an extensive family tree - before computers. She found and interesting story. One of our ancestors died. Wakes were held in the family home with the body displayed on a table. No funeral parlors. Family members held a vigual 24/7 from the time of death until burial. Family members were terrified when the "dead" relative suddenly asked "ou est mon cheval" ( "Where is my horse".)
:hyper: Can you imagine the shock?
 

ElizabethB

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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

It is better to have a lesser yet certain advantage at something, than the possibility of a greater one that may come to nothing.

Refers back to medieval falconry when a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and worth more than two in the bush (the prey)

I looked it up.

My lesson learned - appreciate, respect and utilize the advantages that you have.
 
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ElizabethB

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For the want of a Nail

Credited to Benjamin Franklin

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

The lesson:

Small things can have a huge impact. Pay attention to details.
 

rascal

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Dead ringer here is you could mistake a person for some one else, they look so alike. I have friends who went to Paris two years ago. Not close friends but still friends , they said they saw my doppelgänger over there, even walked like me, they followed him for a while and got up close. They knew it want me, but a dead ringer for me.

Russ
 
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