Why We Say #32: U too
There is a definite variety of expressions for “U”, so many that you, too will become well-versed in U knowing why we say, for example:
Under the Weather
If you’ve ever boated in choppy waters, it isn’t difficult to figure out that sailing in bad weather can absolutely bring
out up the topic of seasickness. Being under the weather can mean being over the railing.
What is it about thirteen? Why is it unlucky? While there are several ideas out there, my little sayings book suggests that the expression goes back to the Last Supper. Jesus and his twelve apostles sat at the table, making it thirteen. Judas betrayed Jesus. Thirteen was not his lucky number.
Up a Blind Alley
One of those “back then” explanations, as in back when gates were referred to as “eyes,” it was handy to have an eye on an exit when running down an alley. People who are running down alleys are usually in need of gates, doors, openings–you name it, they just need a way out. Going up a blind alley is probably a lot like being up a creek without a paddle.
Crusts are often discarded. Just watch most kids eat a sandwich. Yet, long ago the upper crust of a loaf of bread was considered the best part and set aside for the best visitors. This is why those with clout are considered the upper crust. Yeah, they usually have a lot of bread in their possession, come to think of it.
Upset the Apple Cart
English farmers back in the late 1700s would hurry to the market in order to sell their fruit first. Competitive sellers would knock over the other farmer’s carts to wreck their ability to sell. And this is why when plans go awry we might say “don’t upset the Apple Cart.” George Bernard Shaw might have revived the saying with his play “The Apple Cart.” Maybe those who got their carts tipped suffered from sour apples (or is that sour grapes?) syndrome.
images: pinterest, Wikipedia
Great stuff! Aren’t words wonderful. I don’t know if you can see it on your side of the Atlantic, but we just discovered a Brit 2002 series on YouTube: The History of English presented by writer Melvyn Bragg. It’s not only informative but highly entertaining.
I’m a professed Word Nerd for sure. I will look up this series most definitely. Thanks for the tip.
Amazing things, most I didn’t even know.
Words are amazing, aren’t they? It’s an enlightening hobby I’ve developed to discover word and saying meanings.
It is quite a hobby as we all enjoy the posts.
Fun to learn these. And to think my sons used to tear the crust off their bread and toss it. 😁
I wonder when eating the crust became unfashionable.
Very informative. Good going!
I started with the “A” sayings and have worked through most of the alphabet. Thanks for the visit!
I’ve always loved the phrase “under the weather” haha.
I wondered if it’s because we feel foggy when we’re sick but now I know!
Yes, I associated it with the fogginess as well!
That crust one is intriguing!
Is this why we tell kids to eat their crusts?