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Saturday, August 6, 2011



Those strange sayings, we use them all the time, but where do they come from?  Strange but true, here are the origins of common phrases we use every day:

Everything from soup to nuts-

          Definition – Everything is included, nothing is left out.

                                    Origin – A full dinner historically started with soup and ended       with desert or nuts.  Soup to nuts and all in between, nothing left out.

                             En Espanol – El Todo Enchilada


Everything but the kitchen sink-

          Definition- Everything from soup to nuts

                 Origin- Before indoor plumbing, the kitchen sink was portable and considered valuable.  It was common for a house to be sold including everything EXCEPT the kitchen sink.


The whole kit and caboodle-

          Definition- El Todo Enchilada

                 Origin- In the Wild West, wagons were delivered in pieces or kits.  Often during delivery the manufacturer neglected to ship the caboodle.

Spilling the beans-

          Definition- To give up a secret

                 Origin- Before banks, a favorite secret hiding place for money was in a bean jar.  Spilling the beans would give up the secret hiding place.


Let the cat out of the bag-

          Definition- To spill the beans

                  Origin- In Ireland there used to be a tax on cats.  When the collector came around the family cat was often hidden in a bag.  Telling the collector about the cat was letting the cat out of the bag.


Come clean-

          Definition- Let the cat out of the bag

                 Origin- A lie is dirty, telling the truth is coming clean.


The straight dope-

          Definition- Come clean

                 Origin- In the sixties in San Francisco some men did not realize they lived in a predominantly gay community.  Coming out of the closet was referred to as telling the straight dope.  The term “To Come Clean” was sometimes misunderstood.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth-

          Definition- Accept a gift graciously and unconditionally

                 Origin- Kansas farmer Seth Travers was given a plow horse as a wedding present from his father-in-law.  Before he said thank you Seth checked to see the horse had all its teeth.  He was shot by his insulted father-in-law.

It’s raining cats and dogs-

          Definition- A really heavy rain storm

                 Origin- Harvey Katz and Charlie Docks were roofing a farm house when a sudden heavy rain storm came up.  Both roofers slipped on the wet shingles.  When the farm owner looked out the window and say Harvey and Charlie fall by the window he remarked, “Look, it’s raining Katz and Docks.”

He is In a real pickle-

          Definition- In trouble

                 Origin- Duh…he is in a real pickle…I think that would be a problem!


          Definition- Talking nonsense

                 Origin- When cormin flamp hafengender gibberished the dorfin!

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