You heard the term, now know the meaning of it


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This is a big post maybe I should have done it as a attachment?

Nevermind. It is really cool clarified a few things for me at least




In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs," therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."
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As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we often use the term "here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
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In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the "chair man." Today in business, we use the expression or title "Chairman" or "Chairman of the Board."
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Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile" In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . therefore, the expression "losing face."
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Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in "straight laced". . . wore a tightly tied lace.
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Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "Ace of Spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck."
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Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there." The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term "gossip."
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At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts," hence the term "minding your "P's and Q's."
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One more: bet you didn't know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey." (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)
 
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cirianz

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TriplexDread said:
In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the "chair man." Today in business, we use the expression or title "Chairman" or "Chairman of the Board."

Hmmmmmmm..... wouldn't be too sure, given that the "man" in chairman does not refer to gender but to the job of managing the chair.
In this instance the 'politically correct' terms 'chair person' & 'chair woman' are actually innacurate and the correct address for a woman chairing a meeting (or a Board of directors for that matter) is "Madam chairman". When talking about her she would be refered to as 'the chairman' just the same as a male chairman would be and when talking to her (or him) one is 'addressing the chair' thus emphasising that the job itself overides the identity or gender of the person carrying it out & that the primary job of a chairman is to act as fascilitator rather than leader. Something also forgotten by many chairman.

Language, however, evolves & changes all the time &, while the 'politically correct' terms are actually based on a misperception, the fact is that, wether we like it or not they are now a part of our language & as such the meaning of the original world has altered with it to the extent that most people, & indeed a number of well repected dictionaries believe the term to be a reference to gender. Myself I prefer the original, but then I'm funny like that ;)
 
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Cirianz you say that like i actually wrote it lol

You gotta remember those explanations are from many generations past. Things were very, very differerent then.
 
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Great Britain was an Empire that stretched across the world, nowadays everyone from the "Old Empire" wants to come here. Why?
 

cirianz

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TriplexDread said:
Cirianz you say that like i actually wrote it lol

You gotta remember those explanations are from many generations past. Things were very, very differerent then.

Nah Triplex, I didn't think you were responsible for it & certainly didn't mean to offend, sorry :).

I just have a passing interest in linguistics is all, because our language, even our dialect reflects not just how we speak, but how we see the world. Britain itself is a wonderful example because it has so many different cultures, with so much history, crowded into such a small space. And generally managing to co-exist quite comfortably, depite the misinterpretations that inevitably arise. Scouse itself is different enough from other English dialects that it is officially a language of it's own with a seperate alphabet, as I mentioned once before.

John & I run into such variations all the time, most of the time it is something trivial. For example, down under here 'crisps' is just a 'non-word' & does not feature in our language. & no NZder would have to ask if someone was 'popping out to get some chips' wether he meant the type that come with 'fish' or the type that come in small packets. But John cannot hear the difference at all, to him 'chips' means 'fish & chips' type chips & I have had to start using the word 'crisps' just so he knows what I'm on about. & there are many many more examples, some of which have caused disagreements when words with quite inocuous meanings over here, have threatening, insulting or aggressive meanings, sometimes that bear no relationship to the meaning I attach to the word at all, in Liverpool. And usually we only find out the different meanings because we talk about things. If we didn't 'talk' then I doubt our relationship would've lasted very long at all.
& who's right? Both of us. Cross cultural communications can be the hardest to pin down & deal with when both speakers think they are speaking the same language with the same meanings. In real life "tomato & tomato" don't always mean the same thing at all.

I remember & I bet many others here do also, the period of 'personification' Where every damn word with 'man' in it was declared to be a "sexist representation of the male's attempt to dominate the female through language" & was rewritten in a frenzy of political correctness. It was ridiculous & 'chairman' was perhaps the silliest of all because the 'man' in it was never a reference to gender at all.

Another piece of historical trivia for your list. The term 'man' as a representation of the human species did not originate as a reference to the male gender that was 'generalised' to include the whole species.
In old English the different genders were refered to as wyfman & werman. It was only during the early middle ages that the prefix 'wer' was dropped from the male version. & the term 'wyfman' eventually evolved into the words 'woman' and, of course, wife. The suffix 'man' always was a representitive of the human species, long before it also came to be used to refer to the male alone.

So, next time you run into some raving feminist out to blame the male species for everything she can think of, try rubbing her nose in that one:rolleyes:

*climbs down off soap box* :blush:
 
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Its ok babes I knew u didnt mean to offend me. And you didnt :)

Crap I said babes! Does that make me a Egotistical, womanising neanderthal. Hmmmm ;)

You can say anything you want hun as long as you nice with it lol
 

cirianz

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'sall right lov, s'long as yer sexy with it;)

Ooooooops... does that make me a sexist, mannising cro magnon?

Oh well, what the hell, & you can call me babes anytime you want & you's always nice with it :)
 
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