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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
Put a sock in itPosted Tuesday, November 29, 2011, at 9:48 AM
I love quotes and sayings but some of them are really bizarre.
I did a little investigating to find out the meaning and origin of some of the quotes we have heard a hundred times over.
* "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
Meaning - It's better to have something small and reliable than something big and risky.
Origin - The same sentiment comes from the Bible, - "A living dog is better than a dead lion."
My thoughts - Well, I wouldn't want a bird in my hand - it would either peck me or force me to find a place to wash my hand. What would two birds be doing in the bushes?
* "A shot in the dark."
Meaning - A hopeful attempt at something.
Origin - Like a hopeful attempt to shoot at an enemy that you can't see.
My thoughts - I would just be hopeful I'm not in the dark and being the one shot at.
* "Keep your nose to the grindstone."
Meaning - Apply yourself conscientiously to your work.
Origin - Before the mechanization of the metalwork trade the standard method for knife grinders when sharpening blades was to lie flat on their fronts with their faces near the grindstone in order to hold the blades against the stone.
My thoughts - Ouch!
* "Knock on wood."
Meaning - The phrase voiced by people who rap their knuckles on a piece of wood hoping for good luck.
Origin - May be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross.
My thoughts - Luck is when I hear Ed McMahon knocking on my door to present me with a million dollar check.
* "Mind your p's and q's."
Meaning - Be on your best behavior and be careful of your language.
Origin - There are various proposed explanations of this. Amongst the most plausible are the notion that ale used to be ordered in either pints or quarts and you needed to be careful which you were given.
My thoughts - If you can't remember if you are drinking out of a pint or a quart jar, it's time to go home from the pub, buddy. Take a cab.
* "Elvis has left the building."
Meaning - The show is over.
Origin - Announced at the end of Elvis Presley's concerts to encourage fans to go home. Now used to indicate that something is complete.
My thoughts - Sorry to break the news but Elvis left the building over 30 years ago and he's not coming back (unless you are in Las Vegas and you run into an Elvis wherever you turn!)
* "Put a sock in it."
Meaning - Request to be quiet.
Origin - Early gramophones had no volume controls. To play them more quietly you would need to put a sock into the trumpet.
My thoughts - It's time for me to put a sock in it and get out of here.
Lorri Glawe is a reporter for the Pilot Tribune in Storm Lake.