Have you ever given any thought to some of the funny quotes and phrases we use and where they originated from. We were talking about this with some friends last night and it got me to wondering about some of the sayings that we tend to use and may not really know the origin of how they came about. So just for the fun of it I thought I'd look a few of them and share my findings.
Let's start with a popular one:
"You're pulling my leg" - means to tease someone or mislead them. It was rooted in the criminal world when thieves would trip or pull people down by their leg in order to rob them. This is one of the more common story versions that is shared or believed about this quote.
Never look a gift horse in the mouth - As horses age their gums recede and it makes their teeth appear longer. Checking a horses mouth before buying it was a common practice, perhaps it still is but this is where the phrase comes from. Although this was considered offensive just like now if you received a gift from someone you wouldn't ask them how much they payed for it.
Maybe it goes for Zebra's too!
Mind your P's and Q's - There are a few different thoughts on this one but the most common seems to be referring to minding your pints and quarts. A British saying that perhaps started in English pubs meaning to chalk up your tally of drinks on the slate. A bar tender may have used this to say to a patron if they were getting loud and considered to be drinking too much.
Once in a Blue Moon - You may be know that a blue moon is referred to as the second full moon in a single calendar month and it's super rare. Thus the saying 'once in a blue moon' refers to something that doesn't happen very often.
Sleep Tight - dates back to the time when mattresses where made with ropes and each night before bed the ropes needed to be pulled tight to ensure a good sleep.
Crocodile Tears - When someone is crying superficially or falsely they are said to be crying crocodile tears. The myth dates back to the 14th century when it was believed that crocodiles would shed tears when they killed their prey.
There's some food for thought. Interesting to look into some of the common phrases that we toss around so easily.