Did you know that…. In olden days, proof of ownership of large animals that roamed freely in the woods was difficult made. The farmers slit or notched their animals ears to identify them. Thus the meaning of the term “Earmarked” WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources
Did You Know?
Mad as a hatter is not from Alice in Wonderland like I thought
Mad as a hatter is not from Alice in Wonderland like I once thought. Mad as a Hatter comes from the fact that in the 18th and 19th centuries hat makers treated hats with mercury which became a hazardous occupation. This was known to have affected the nervous systems of hatters, causing them to tremble […]
Face the music – take your pick on the source of this phrase
Face the music means to accept the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions. The source of the phrase is not clear. Some believe that ‘face the music’ originated from the tradition of disgraced officers being ‘drummed out’ of their regiment. A second popular theory is that it was actors who ‘faced the music’, that is, faced […]
DYK: What does Good as Gold really mean?
Today the phrase, Good as Gold, usually refers to a person or child being well-behaved and obedient. The phrase comes from the time when banknotes were first introduced they weren’t considered to be money in the sense we now think of them, but were promissory notes or IOUs. Gold or silver was real money as it had intrinsic […]
DYK: Have you gone to pot? It doesn’t mean what you think
DYK: Did you know? Around 1542, when the phrase first appeared, “to go to pot” was to be cut up like chunks of meat destined for the stew pot. When farm animals outlived their usefulness such as a hen that no longer laid eggs would literally go to pot. It was cooked and eaten. Such […]
DYK: Plane or plain sailing – what is the real meaning?
The phrase, ‘Plain sailing’ is used to describe a process or activity that goes well and is easy and uncomplicated. Actually it is another nautical phrase and derives from 17-18th century, originally ‘plane sailing’, the term for a quick method of navigating short distances, when positions and distances could be plotted as if on a flat plane […]
DYK: Let’s start from scratch
Many old sayings are also horse racing term. The phrase ‘START FROM SCRATCH” comes from the days when a line was scratched in the ground for a race. The racers would start from the scratch. WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources
DYK: Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?
In olden times, people were very superstitious. They believed that all good in a man was on his right side and all bad was on his left. If you got out of bed on the left side, evil forces would follow you all day long. Most innkeepers had the left sides of the bed against […]
DYK: She was spinning a good yarn
Many old sayings come from nautical terms as is the case with ‘Spinning a a yarn’. Rope was made in ports everywhere. The rope makers chatted while they worked. They told each other stories while they were spinning a yarn. WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources
DYK: A tavern wench needed to mind her “P’s & Q’s”
Did you know that….. In olden days, a tavern wench was often told to “Mind her P’s and Q’s” because…. she served ale in pints and quarts. She kept track of her orders on a slate with P in one corner and Q in the opposite corner so she wouldn’t overcharge or undercharge patrons. […]