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What is the origin of the idiom don't cotton to that?
This phrase dates from somewhere in the 16th Century. Originally, it was a textile term - to "cotton" or "cotton well" referred to the success of the fibers melding together to form cotton cloth. Around the 16th Century, the phrase began to be used to mean "to be successful," or "to prosper" in reference to people and things. About the 19th Century, the phrase "to cotton to" began to see use, and meant "to be drawn to" or "to get along with." If you do not "cotton to" something, then you don't care for it. This phrase is particularly common in the South, where the cotton industry formed the basis for the economy for many years.
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Fit as a Fiddle - in good health; in fine shapeorigin: This expression dates from at least the 1600s. A fiddle that is fit is well-tuned and in good shape and can play terrifi…c music. So , it was combined wth the word 'fit' to become an alliteration. Of course the 'fiddle' here is the colloquial name for violin. 'Fit' didn't originally mean healthy and energetic, in the sense it is often used nowadays to describe the inhabitants of gyms. When this phrase was coined 'fit' was used to mean 'suitable, seemly', in the way we now might say 'fit for purpose'. Thomas Dekker, in The batchelars banquet, 1603 referred to 'as fine as a fiddle': "Then comes downe mistresse Nurse as fine as a farthing fiddle, in her petticoate and kertle." Not long afterwards, in 1616, there's W. Haughton's English-men for my Money, which includes: "This is excellent ynfayth [in faith], as fit as a fiddle."
Busman's Holiday - spending your free time doing the same thing you do during work In London, during the late 1800's, buses were pulled by horses. Some bus driver…s loved their horses so much that on their days off from work, they would ride on their own buses just to make sure that other bus drivers took good care of their horses.
In the 1890-1900s, many saloons had a "free lunch" for customers- sandwiches, pickles, boiled eggs, etc. to encourage them to stay and buy drinks. Sometimes a penniless man (a… bum in the term of the day) might slip in to the saloon to grab a bite of the "free lunch"- without buying drinks. If the bartender spotted him, he was about to get the "Bum's Rush"- out of the door and into the street.
It comes from the King James Version of the Bible, in Matthew 5:13, which says: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salt…ed? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Salt was more valuable than gold in the ancient world. When Jesus said to his disciples, 'Ye are the salt of the earth.Ye are the light of the world.' he was saying they were more valuable than gold, and by extension, so was anyone who would suffer persecution for their loyalty to him. The phrase has been used ever since to praise the very best kind of people. It has come to be typically used to pay a compliment to the finest common folk, humble, unsung heroes, decent, hardworking, dependable and unpretentious, the type that quietly give of themselves for the benefit of others and their community.
It is believed to be from the greek voting method using beans.
We may not know the origin with any certainty, but it's a very old idea. The French say one fights with "bec et ongles" (beak and talons), and they apparently got the idea fro…m the Latin phrase "unguibus et rostro." The Latin survives as the motto of the old Roman town (now in France) of Valence in Drome. In Latin, there's the idea of fighting with the entire body and every nail ("toto corpore atque omnibus ungulis"), which is credited to Cicero. Interestingly, "red in tooth and claw" is a more recent development, coming from a poem by Tennyson. Apparently "tooth and claw" was already in common use and may be related to "tooth and nail."
Upset the Applecart - to spoil or interfere with a plan; to obstruct progress Origin: Originated from the 1800s whereby a farmer would bring his applecart loaded …with neatly piled, fresh apples for sale. Along comes a clumsy oaf who knocks over the cart, spilling all the apples.The farmer's plan to sell the apples is spoiled.
Wow, I do not know how I know this, probably my dad told me years ago and I've just retained it for an occasion such as this. In the times when there were town crie…rs that brought beople the news, they would start at the town hall which would be at the center of the town, and they would work their way around the streets all the way out to the outskirts. This often took a whole day, and so those that lived near the centre found out in the morning before going to market and generally socialising. Those that lived near and on the outskirts wouldn't find out until evening, and so would be always talking about yesterdays news. But to them (and you must understand they were the majority AND the ones more likely to use phrases such as streets ahead) it seemed more like the others were ahead rather than themselves being behind. Therefore those close to the centre were 'streets ahead' of those that were literally streets behind. Hope that answers it for you, and until QI disproves it, good-bye Acey~Nz
'Cheek by Jowl:' means - nery close together, side by side It originates from: The Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare - if two people are together with one pe…rson's cheek right by another person's cheek (jowl), they are pretty close indeed.
There is a game of Twenty Questions. One person decides on a secret thing or person to think of. The other has 20 chances to ask yes;no questions to narrow down and guess the …answer.
Sitting Pretty - to be lucky or to be in an advantageous position origin: this American expression comes from the early 1900's. Sitting is a comfortable position… and pretty is an adjective suggesting beauty, leading to the suggestion of an easy, favorable situation.
Take a powder - to leave quickly; to sneak out Origin: By 1925, this was a popular expression in the US. Powder referred to the explosiveness of gunpowder - if yo…u flee so you won't get caught for something, you are taking a powder.
"It's not important," or "I don't care."
a female said in 1739 that her husband lost his head and she was going to be killed because her husband was a spy.
Clip Your Wings: to end a person's privileges; to take away someone's power Origin: In ancient Rome, people clipped the wings of pet birds so that they would not …fly away. Therefore, for centuries, people have used the expression 'clip one's wings' to mean bringing someone under control. It originates from the practice of shortening flight feathers of domestic and caged birds in order to prevent flight, and therfore loss of birds. To clip someone's wings means to put in place actions or ideas to calm them down, prevent flightiness, make them settle.
It's actually quite an old idiom-- it's been traced back to Englandin the 1570s! Many common expressions are often derived frompopular activities and occupations, and in this …case, farming wasvery important in the era prior to the industrial revolution; so itis not surprising to find an idiom that makes reference to thefarm. Don't count your chickens was an idiom about not being toohasty in your judgment, since it is impossible to predict how manyof the eggs will hatch successfully (and become chicks) before thatactually occurs.