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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:A person at work said today "Oh, he's not happy. They've sent him to Coventry"

they meant by that that the person wasn't being talked to by everyone else.

Where did that saying come from?

Why Coventry?

There must be loads of sayings out there.... where do they all come from?

Heres another "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs"
This means the person is suprised by something someone has told them, such as

Man A : I saw a monkey eating a ferret in the high street today.
ManB : Well I'll got to the foot of our stairs! Did you really?

Where do all these saying come from and just how local are some of them?


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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maus
maus

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Sihanoukville, cambodia
Member Since: 14th Jul 2005
Total posts: 4191
Posted:brilliant thread!!!!!!!! clap clap clap clap i love these sorts of things!!!

cant think of any sayings but i know the word posh comes from many years ago when people used to travel by boat.
the more financially endowed people obviously got the best accomadation on board which was the prt side on the way there, and the starboard side on the return journey...

Port Out Starboard Home.....POSH!


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simian
simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London
Member Since: 11th Oct 2002
Total posts: 3149
Posted:About being sent to Coventry: i heard that it doesn't derive from Coventry the place, but from the Covin-tree from which Coventry took it's name. The Covin-tree was an oak which stood in front of the castle in feudal times. The tree was used as the gallows and those to be executed were sent to the covin-tree.

Probably a load of rubbish though rolleyes


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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doctor_fandango
doctor_fandango

co-director of A.C.B.I.S.H.A.
Location: in the corner beside the filin...
Member Since: 19th Jul 2004
Total posts: 761
Posted:"he let the cat out of the bag"

in medieval times, naughty salesmen would sell a cat (which was quite cheap and easy to come by) and claim it was a pig(ALOT more expensive). someone who revealed the salesman's lie would 'let the cat out of the bag'... .. not alot of people know that.

interesting stuff, nice start skully hug


There's no place like 127.0.0.1, There's no place like 127.0.0.1, There's no place like 127.0.0.1,

"in most of our friends we're the hippies. but we have hippie friends of our own.. its like a dog having its own pet" - H. Sinoquet 19-03-2005

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Fine_Rabid_Dog
Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 10530
Posted:Written by: maus

cant think of any sayings but i know the word posh comes from many years ago when people used to travel by boat.
the more financially endowed people obviously got the best accomadation on board which was the prt side on the way there, and the starboard side on the return journey...

Port Out Starboard Home.....POSH!



I knew that! I knew that...

I remember trying to explain it to another HoPper, and got all confuzzled...

But yeah biggrin


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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doctor_fandango
doctor_fandango

co-director of A.C.B.I.S.H.A.
Location: in the corner beside the filin...
Member Since: 19th Jul 2004
Total posts: 761
Posted:might be a tad offtopic but anyways, when was the *why did the chicken cross the road* gag first used??

There's no place like 127.0.0.1, There's no place like 127.0.0.1, There's no place like 127.0.0.1,

"in most of our friends we're the hippies. but we have hippie friends of our own.. its like a dog having its own pet" - H. Sinoquet 19-03-2005

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:As far as I know, the saying being sent to coventry originates from the british civil war, when they used a large church in coventry as a military prison. Being sent to Coventry just meant being sent to jail.



There's page here about it



I live on the same street of said church (St Johns) and can see it from my balcony smile


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Sir_Sheep
Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK
Member Since: 1st Mar 2003
Total posts: 725
Posted:It was more than that. Because the civilians of the town were a different side to the prisioners (Roundheads and Cavaliers). Therefore when they were sent to the prision they locals would refuse to communicate with the prisioners - hence being "Sent to Coventry"

Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Ok then, how about

"Well I'll be blowed"

.... no you smutty people thats not a line from a porn film. Its an expression of suprise.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Skittish
Skittish

member
Location: Near to Yeovil, In Somerset
Member Since: 23rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 64
Posted:not sure about i'll be blowed but "blimey" comes from "Blind me"... why you'd want to be blinded i don't know but...

So what your saying is, if I take just ONE more pill...

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:I think it was "blind me God" originally and it was used as a way of saying that the thing they were seeing wasn't something a good Christian should hence they asked God to blind them.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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VampyricAcid
VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House
Member Since: 27th Jun 2005
Total posts: 1286
Posted:Written by: doctor_fandango

might be a tad offtopic but anyways, when was the *why did the chicken cross the road* gag first used??



in roman times, when a bored centurian said "Whyth Doth the Turkeyth-lookalikius croth our newly laden perfectly straight walkandhorseway" (the word road wasnt invented for another 30 years when some roman got board of saying walkandhorseway)


Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:and here i was thinking it was the Greeks...

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:It was actually the Sumerians. *insert Monty Python soundtrack here*

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Thistle
Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK
Member Since: 27th Jan 2001
Total posts: 950
Posted:My Nan had a saying for everything. One of her sayings was 'if it rains on the day of your funeral it means you were a good person' and it was raining cats and dogs on her funeral.



'Raining Cats and Dogs' now where does that come from?


Are we nearly there yet?

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bing!
bing!

i beat my inner child
Location: manchester UK
Member Since: 25th Jan 2005
Total posts: 184
Posted:cats and dogs ey ...

--the spark what lit the flame which started the fire that burned forever--

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linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:on the theme of flying animals

why isnt "not enough room to swing a cat"?


back

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Superman
Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas
Member Since: 13th Mar 2001
Total posts: 829
Posted:Written by: Vampyricacid

Written by: doctor_fandango

might be a tad offtopic but anyways, when was the *why did the chicken cross the road* gag first used??



in roman times, when a bored centurian said "Whyth Doth the Turkeyth-lookalikius croth our newly laden perfectly straight walkandhorseway" (the word road wasnt invented for another 30 years when some roman got board of saying walkandhorseway)



bwwwaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaa


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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[noodles]
[noodles]

*Property of Pigeon Wigeon*
Location: Locked In Pigeons Chimney
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
Total posts: 893
Posted:Foot of our stairs thing is a northern saying. We all know how weird northerners are biggrin

Could somebody stop the room please... I'd like to get off

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Domino
UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 757
Posted:Swing a cat. Cat is short for cat-o-nine-tails, throughly unpleasent hooked whip thing. I think the having no room had something to do with slave ships.

Carrots. Vitamin A will help with night vision but not really all that much when you've got a decent diet. The see in the dark thing was from propoganda during WWII. Allied pilots had an uncanny ability to hit targets in the dark, to make people grow/eat their own vegitables there were propoganda posters around crediting it to carrots. It was actually because they had newly invert radar in teh nosecones of the planes.

Different kettle of fish. I have a feeling that kettle is an old word for bucket, anyone got any light on this?


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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maus
maus

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Sihanoukville, cambodia
Member Since: 14th Jul 2005
Total posts: 4191
Posted:yup kettle is an archaic term for bucket,although i have ni idea where the saying comes from......??

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:Written by: doctor_fandango

"he let the cat out of the bag"

in medieval times, naughty salesmen would sell a cat (which was quite cheap and easy to come by) and claim it was a pig(ALOT more expensive). someone who revealed the salesman's lie would 'let the cat out of the bag'... .. not alot of people know that.
:



ubblol You watch brainiacs: history abuse. it was on that wink


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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LMSP
LMSP

veteran

Member Since: 23rd Aug 2005
Total posts: 1588
Posted:I know the saying "Sweet F A" reffers to Sweet Fanny Addams (And not sweet F**k all like I used to) But I cant remember the stoty behind it! Can anyone jog my memory?

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Lemonkey
Lemonkey

Stalking amidst the desert, carrying an oversized scalpel...
Location: Huddersfield + Hull Uni... UK.
Member Since: 1st Aug 2005
Total posts: 1019
Posted:Not a saying, but rather a name.

Scouse - the name for Liverpudlians, is from the dish Lobscouse which sailors originally took with them on voyagers...


Willy - is bad for your health...

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JonnyRok
JonnyRok

Look! I'm Darth Bunny!
Location: Sunny South Africa
Member Since: 2nd May 2005
Total posts: 446
Posted:Saved by the bell.

In the olden days medical technology wasnt that good and they often buried people alive, but they only discovered this later when they opened some of the caskets and found nail marks on the inside help So to solve this problem they ran a thread out of the coffin to a bell outside the grave. If the person was still alive and woke up, all he had to do was ring the bell to be saved. There would be a person walking around the graveyard at night listening for the bell which is also where the saying "graveyard shift" came from


Do what you want coz a pirate is free,
You are a pirate!
Yo ho fiddle dee dee, being a pirate is alright to be,
Do what you want coz a pirate is free,
You are a pirate!

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VampyricAcid
VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House
Member Since: 27th Jun 2005
Total posts: 1286
Posted:he "Kicked the bucket" i cant remember where it came form in full but it has something to do with war, hospitals and death

Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

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Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 6th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1785
Posted:The wooden frame that slaughtered animals were hung from is known as a bucket. The death spasms of the animals caused them to kick the bucket.

yuk


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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Written by: LilMissSmartyPants

I know the saying "Sweet F A" reffers to Sweet Fanny Addams (And not sweet F**k all like I used to) But I cant remember the stoty behind it! Can anyone jog my memory?



I looked it up and this is the gruesome result

In 1867 eight-year-old Fanny Adams was murdered and her body mutilated. At about this time also the Royal Navy was issued with tinned mutton; this was not of good quality and became jokingly known as "Fanny Adams". This term then was applied to any product regarded as poor or worthless and came to mean "nothing at all".

Kind of sad really.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 6th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1785
Posted:willy nilly
Meaning

Two slightly differing but related meanings. 'Whether you like it or not' and ' in a haphazard fashion'.

Origin

The origin centres around the first of those meanings. The earlier form was 'will he, nill he' or sometimes 'will I, nill I'. The expression also appears as 'nilly willy' or 'willing, nilling'.

The early meaning of the word nill is key to this. In early English nill was the opposite of will. That is, will meant to want to do something, nill meant to want to avoid it. So, combining the willy - 'I am willing' and nilly - 'I am unwilling' expresses the idea that it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

The Latin phrase 'nolens, volens' means the same thing, although it isn't clear whether the English version is a simple translation of that.

There's also a, now archaic, phrase 'hitty, missy' that had a similar derivation. That comes from 'hit he, miss he'.

The earliest citation is from Middleton 1608:

"Thou shalt trust me spite of thy teeth, furnish me with some money wille nille."

Pipe Dream
Meaning

An unrealistic hope or fantasy.

Origin

The allusion is to the dreams experienced by smokers of opium pipes. Opium was widely used by the English literati in the 18th and 19th centuries. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the best known users, and it would be difficult to claim that the imagery in surreal works like Kubla Khan owned nothing to opium. Lewis Carroll, although not known to be an opium user himself, makes many clear allusions to drug use in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Arthur Conan Doyle goes a step further by making his hero Sherlock Holmes an opium addict.

It's strange then that 'pipe dream' comes from none of these sources but has an American origin. In his 1896 play, "Artie - A Story of the Streets and Town", the American columnist and playwright George Ade penned the line: "But then I was spinnin' pipe dreams myself, tellin' about how much I lose on the board and all that." From the context it seems clear that the phrase wasn't coined for that play, but that Ade would have expected his audience to have prior knowledge of it. He goes to no effort to explain it in the play and the meaning wouldn't have been clear otherwise.

There's no earlier known printed version though, so it seems clear that the phrase came into being soon before 1896, most probably not far from Ade's place of work, which was downtown Chicago.

Turn a blind eye

Meaning

To refuse to take notice of a situation.

Origin
Admiral Nelson is supposed to have said this when wilfully disobeying a signal to withdraw during a naval engagement. Tales of that sort, especially when they are about national heroes like Nelson, tend to be exaggerated or entirely fictitious. That doesn't appear to be the case here though and there's very good evidence to show that Nelson was indeed the source of this phrase.

In the naval battle of Copenhagen in 1801 Nelson lead the attack of the British fleet against a joint Danish/Norwegian enemy. The British fleet of the day was commanded by Admiral Sir Hyde Parker. The two men disagreed over tactics and at one point Hyde Parker sent a signal (by the use of flags) for Nelson to disengage. Nelson was convinced he could win if he persisted and that's when he 'turned a blind eye'.

In their biography, Life of Nelson, published just eight years later, Clarke and M'Arthur printed what they claimed to be a Nelson's actual words at the time:

"Putting the glass to this blind eye, he [Nelson] exclaimed, I really do not see the signal."
The first recorded use of the phrase in the form we normally use it today is in "More letters from Martha Wilmot: impressions of Vienna, 1819-1829." These were reprinted in 1935 and this quotation is recorded as being sent by Ms. Wilmot in 1823:
turn a blind eye and a deaf ear every now and then, and we get on marvellously well."
The manner of use of the phrase in that quotation suggests that it was well understood at the time.


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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:"Round the bend" to mean someone is mad

This one comes from the shape of driveways going up to buildings. Stately Homes had straight drives at the time but Assylums for the mentally ill had curved ones so that as you came up the driveway you couldn't see where you were going. It was supposed to be so the mad person being taken there would stay calm until the last moment when it was too late and they were at the door.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 6th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1785
Posted:Raining Cats and Dogs

Meaning

Raining very heavily.

Origin

This is an interesting phrase in that, although there's no definitive origin, there are several unrelated speculative derivations.

The first thing to say is that the phrase seems to be unrelated to the well-known antipathy between dogs and cats, which is made word in the phrase 'cat and dog', as in 'fight like cat and dog'. In fact 'raining cats and dogs' doesn't make a great deal of literal sense and the explanations below that attempt to link the phrase to felines, canines and weather seem rather feeble.

Here goes though - take your choice.

1. It comes from mythology. Witches, who often took the form of their familiars - cats, are supposed to have ridden the wind. Dogs and wolves were attendants to Odin, the god of storms and sailors associated them with rain.

Well, some evidence would be nice. There doesn't appear to be any to support this notion.

2. The phrase is supposed to have originated in England in the 17th century when city streets were filthy and heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals.

The idea that seeing a dead cats and dogs floating by in storms would cause people to coin this phrase is far fetched, but just about believable.

3. Another suggestion is that it comes from a version of the French word, catadoupe, meaning waterfall.

Well, again. No evidence. If the phrase were 'raining cats' or ifthere also existed a French word, dogadoupe we might be going somewhere with this one. As there isn't lets pass this by.

Returning to facts rather than idle speculation we do know that the phrase was in use in a modified form in 1653, when Richard Brome's The City Wit, has the line "It shall raine .. Dogs and Polecats".

Polecats aren't cats as such but the jump between them in linguistic rather than veterinary terms isn't large.

In a form more like the current version it appears in Jonathan Swifts 'A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation' in 1738: I know Sir John will go, though he was sure it would rain cats and dogs.

More likely than any of the three versions given above is that this is just a nice descriptive turn of phrase. There's a similar phrase originating from the north of England - 'it's raining stair-rods'. No one has gone to the effort of speculating that this is from mythic reports of stairs being carried into the air in storms and falling on gullible peasants. Its just a rather good vivid phrase giving a graphic impression of heavy rain. Another similar phrase is 'its raining like pitchforks', the first known reference of which is D. Humphreys' Yankey in England, 1815 -'I'll be even with you, if it rains pitchforks - tines downwards.'

All in all we can't be sure. The balance of probability doesn't favour version 1, 2 or 3 above though.


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