arms and legs · balls to the walls · Creek · Creek Indians · fact · fiction · humor · nine yards · sayings

Did You Know? Part 1

A friend sent this to me, and since it is from the Internet, it must be true. Either that or someone has spent a great deal of time being creative.

Enjoy learning the ‘questionable’ origins of our favorite sayings. It’s more fun than trying to discern fact from fiction coming from the president-elect.

Early aircraft throttles had a ball on the end of it, in order to go full throttle the pilot had to push the throttle all the way forward into the wall of the instrument panel. Hence “balls to the wall” for going very fast. And now you know the rest of the  story.

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During WWII, U.S. Airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs.  aircraft, world war II, nine yards, sayingsThese belts were folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns. The belts measured 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets. They would say, I gave them the whole nine yards, meaning they used up all of their ammunition.

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Did you know the saying “God willing and the creek don’t rise” was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? creek-indians, did you know?,It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington. In his response, he was said to write, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise.” Because he capitalized the word “Creek”, he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe  and not a body of water.

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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. arm and leg, did you know?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.’  (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint.)

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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. big wigs sayings, did you know?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 1700’s, 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.’

More to come tomorrow…

 

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