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7 Common Sayings and Where They Come From

I have said these and I bet you have as well. But what do these phrases really mean and why do we say it? Well, here are 7 Common Sayings and Where They Come From:

I Gotta Pee Like a Race Horse

Today’s Meaning: You have to pee really bad!

History: Racehorses are commonly given Lasix (aka Salix) which is a powerful diuretic. This causes the horse to pee a lot right before they race, we’re talking gallons and gallons.

Saved By The Bell

Today’s Meaning:  Rescued at the last minute

History: Being buried alive was once a common occurrence. People who feared succumbing to such a fate were buried in special coffins that connected to a bell above ground.  At night, guards listened for any bells in case they had to dig up a living person and save them “by the bell.”

Butter Someone Up

Today’s Meaning: To Flatter something to get something you want.

History: An ancient Indian custom involved throwing balls of clarified butter at statues of the gods to seek favor.

Cat Got Your Tongue

Today’s Meaning:  A person has a loss for words

History: The English Navy used to use a whip called “Cat-o’-nine-tails” for flogging. The pain was so severe that it caused the victim to stay quiet for a long time. Another possible source could be from ancient Egypt, where liars’ and blasphemers’ tongues were cut out and fed to the cats.

Kick The Bucket

Today’s Meaning: To Die

History: When a cow was killed at a slaughterhouse, a bucket was placed under it while it was positioned on a pulley. Sometimes the animal’s legs would kick during the adjustment of the rope and it would literally kick the bucket before being killed.

Turn a Blind Eye

Today’s Meaning: To look the other way or ignore the facts

History: The British Naval hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, had one blind eye. Once when the British forces signaled for him to stop attacking a fleet of Danish ships, he held up a telescope to his blind eye and said, “I do not see the signal.” He attacked, nevertheless, and was victorious.

Let Your Hair Down

Today’s Meaning: Relax

History: In public, the aristocratic women of medieval times were obliged to appear in elegant hair-dos that were usually pulled up. The only time they would “let their hair down” was when they came home and relaxed.


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