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Interesting Phrase Origins
  • In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes when you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. That's where the phrase, 'goodnight, sleep tight' came from.
  • The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W. II fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
  • The phrase, "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
  • It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know today as the "honeymoon."
  • In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase, "Mind your P's and Q's."
  • Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle," is the phrase inspired by this practice.
  • In ancient England, a person could not have sex unless they had consent of the King. When anyone wanted to have a baby, they got consent from the King and the King gave them a placard to hang on thier door during the act. The placard had the letters F.U.C.K. (Fornication Under Consent of the King) written upon it.