So - That's where it started - Got any more?

Here are some factoids about where some sayings came from.
Got any more?

These are internet factoids - so I might be F.O.S. on some of them…

When we say Lock, Stock, and Barrel. It means the entire thing.
Lock, Stock, and Barrel are the major parts of a firearm.

Out of Sorts…
Since the days of Gutenberg (1400s), type was set one letter at a time.
A single character was kept in a type case compartment and was known as a sort.
After being used the type was sorted back into the case. When the case compartment was empty -
Why you were out of sorts.
If the printer (a person - not a device) was out of sorts - Well he was not happy.
Thus being out of sorts today is being in a foul mood.

Freedom of the Press - Belongs to those who own a press….
So true back when a newspaper was the only source of information available to the general public.

People used urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.
If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”.
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot……
They didn’t have a pot to piss in” & were the lowest of the low.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June…
However, since they were starting to smell.
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you might lose someone in it…
Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof…
Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, “Dirt Poor

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside.
A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: A thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire…
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “Bring home the bacon
A little bit would be cut off a little to share with guests.
Who would all sit around and Chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle.
The guests, or the wealthy, got the top, or The upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of Holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive…
So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night
Hence The graveyard shift to listen for the bell;
Thus, someone could be Saved by the bell
Or was considered a Dead ringer.

All the Best,

“Dial” a phone number, where do you suppose that come from?

Also to “Hang Up” the phone to end a call?

Might need some pictures to explain those.

Almost all of these are internet myths.

Etymologies of 'One for the Road' and 'On the Wagon' | (Scroll down for poss poor and pot to piss in)

kennybobby - so true a picture makes it all make sense.

Before you could dial a number on the phone, you had to take the earpiece off the hook and listen for the noise - dial tone.
If you heard the noise, you could dial on the err. “dial
If you didn’t hear the noise, you could not make the call.

When done you “hung up” the earpiece on the hook.

It’s fun to watch the young ones try to figure out how to work one of these.
All the Best,

Those pick up the phone days and ask whom you want to talk to was simpler, hehe.
I used to think it was sort of elegant to dial the numbers on a rotary telephone.

In movies and TV I often see people slam down the phone headpiece.
Clearly trying to send the message they are pissed or something.
And the person on the other end is supposed to hear a loud noise.

Well the cradle for the headpiece has a mechanical switch to disconnect the call.
A switch doesn’t care if it is depressed fast or slow. It just breaks the connection.

So in reality, unless the headpiece bangs into something before the switch is depressed -
There is no difference in the sound the other party hears.

All Hollywood…
If only truths were told…

All the Best,

Another from the printing days of yore.

The space between lines is called leading (as in the metal, not the guy in front of the line).

Once years ago I was at a class to get authorized to sell PageMaker. The first Desktop Publishing software.
Which, BTY was the killer app for Macintosh. It was such an important package that when it came out for Windows, Pagemaker shipped with a copy of Windows bundled in the box.

Anyway, in the class the teacher started telling us about “Leeding” and controlling the space between lines of text.
I stuck my hand up and said something like-
“I don’t mean to be a jerk or anything, but the word is leading as in the metal”
The teacher started to try to override me, but I kept on.
“When type was set by hand, the space between lines was created by placing strips of lead between the rows of type.”
“I have sets of these in my office to show people when I do PageMaker demos. The term predates the computer age by about 600 years of so”

Should have kept my mouth shut, but a later class member said he was saying it my way.
He gave me grief, but I could run the software better than he could, so I got the authorization anyway.

In the early days of selling DTP software, I’d often get a Word Perfect user telling me they could do the same as PageMaker.
I’d shut them up by asking them to shorten or lengthen the space between letters in a word (kerning).

All the Best,


Back in the day, movie theatres and stage used carbon arc rods to project the image onto the screen, or illuminate and they put out a lime-ish green hue.

‘And that’s the rest of the story…’


“Lock and Load” is backwards.
Load first and only after that…
Lock the action before firing.

Guidebook for Marines
Eleventh Revised Addition
First Printing
July 1, 1967

The M14 Rifle (M1 Garand Mod 1)
page 445



Nah. It’s from stage lighting which heats a supply of quickline to produce light. Also called a Drummond light.

I was tempted to buy one Just Because, ’til I asked myself wtf I’d ever do wittit.

Nope. Lime lights. intense white light obtained by heating a cylinder of lime, formerly used in theaters. I’ve been in the business for a minute or two.

Cheers ~Matt