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Am I Stupid?


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Or did you also know this? I discovered this fact today.


When someone says they are flogging a dead horse I thought they meant that I am trying to sell a dead horse that nobody wants. Why would anyone want to buy a dead horse, especially from me?


Today, I have discovered that its referring to the old style flog and it means whipping the horse like they do in the races.. treating a dead horse like its involved in a race is pointless as it will never go any faster no matter how much you flog it therefore still pointless but for a different reason.


Are there any old phrases that you didn't or dont understand the meaning of? It might make a funny topic.

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"Not enough room to swing a cat"


Navy saying - the cat-o-nine tails was used as a punishment and had to be done above decks for the simple reason the was not enough room to swing a cat,


"Three square meals a day"


Navy saying - the shape of the plate fitted into a framework which was square to prevent it moving around in choppy seas.


"Bite the bullet"


Army saying - when cartridges came in one piece and to move on to the next target a soldier had to bit the bullet in order to proceed.


"Sling your hook"


Navy saying - meaning go to bed, prepare to get your hammock sorted slung between two hooks.





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I've got a copy of "Brewers dictionary of Phrase and Fable" which was originally published in 1894. Full of the derivation of loads of sayings...random example..Dutch Courage..


In the Dutch wars (in the time of Charles II) the captain of the Hollander man-of-war, when about to engage withour ships, usually set a hogshead of Brandy abroach before the mast and bid the men drink, and our men felt the force of the Brandy to their cost.


Some fascinating stuff in it.

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