Heavens to Betsy Origin

Heavens to Betsy

The saying, heavens to Betsy is used to describe amazement, disbelief or astonishment. It is thought to have originated in the United States during the alcohol prohibition era and used the same way we do today being one of the many non-curses to express amazement. The first official printed reference of it was it’s citation […]

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Show Your True Colors Origin

Show Your True Colors

You reveal who you really are, your true character when you show your true colors. Ships used to be identified solely by the flags or colors they flew to show which country or group they belonged to. Ships were soften fooled when pirates would sail under false flags from other countries and eventually the ship […]

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Stick to Your Guns Origin

Stick To Your Guns

The saying, stick to your guns means to stand up for your rights and beliefs no matter what happens, to stand firm and hold to your position. This was a command given to sailors manning the guns on military boats. They were to stay at their posts even when the boat was being attacked by […]

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Sick as a dog origin

Sick As a Dog

The idiom “Sick As a Dog” simply refers to someone being very sick. The origin of the saying originates from the early 1700s where it was common to call something, undesirable, dirty, or in this case, sick to dogs. (eg dirty dog). There are likely more literal explanations as well including the fact that diseases […]

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Other Side of The Coin Origin

Other Side of the Coin

When people use the saying, other side of the coin, they are referring to the opposite side or point of view of a situation. It has been around since the 2oth century. Even though a coin has two sides, you can only see one side at a time. Issues like coins always have two sides. […]

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Over a Barrel Origin

Over a Barrel

To be over a barrel means to be helpless, at a disadvantage or in a bad situation. One explanation for this saying is that when a person was flogged or whipped for a crime, they were often tied over a barrel to hold them down. Another explanation is that a person was laid over a […]

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Poor as a Church Mouse

Poor as a Church Mouse

To be poor as a church mouse means to be poverty stricken or very poor. This saying was originally said to be hungry as a church mouse. Churches in the 1600’s had no kitchens to cook meals and no storage or pantries to store food. A mouse that was so unlucky to take up residence […]

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Our Like a light origin

Out Like a Light

Out like a light means to fall asleep fast or suddenly become unconscious. When the use of electricity started spreading in the 20th century, it became easier and faster for people to turn their lights on and off with the flick of a switch.  It had now become so much faster to turn out the […]

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Mind Your Ps and Qs Origin

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

To mind your p’s and q’s means to be extremely exact and be careful no to do or say anything wrong. It also means to mind your manners. This saying started to be used in the 1600’s and became very popular in the the 1700’s. It may have come from the fact that the letters […]

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Get the Sack

Get the Sack

To get the sack means to get fired. It may go as far back as the 1500’s. It comes from a time when tradesmen carried all their belongings and tools around in a sack. When they were employed in a certain building they were able to leave their sack in a safe place or the boss’s office […]

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