Monday, January 28, 2008

Twinkle twinkle little bat

Rob and I had dinner with our new neighbor, Eric, on Saturday. We were talking about books (shocking) and Eric told us about a book he had recently read that explained the origins of phrases. His example was “mad as a hatter.” The phrase referred to the regular use of mercury in the hat-making process, which poisoned the hatters and caused neurological damage, a penchant for tea parties, and other general wackiness. I looked this up on Wikipedia today. Verified.*

For the origins of other interesting phrases, check out The Phrase Finder.

*Sadly, not the tea party part.

4 comments:

Joe said...

Great site, thanks. It still surprises me to see a list of Shakespeare's original phrases. They include "Woe is me," "Wild goose chase," and "Off with his head."

Jay Nicolosi said...

Suprisingly, or perhaps not, I've found myself using the phrase "rat in a tin sh*thouse" a lot lately. When I use it, I feel a sence of pride and strength, like B.A. Baracus sans gold chains.

Daniel said...

What is the referral policy here at DT? Will I be compensated monetarily for referring a prolific commenter like Mr. Nicolosi?

Sarah said...

Here at DT, we deal in thoughts rather than money. Deepish thoughts are being aimed at you right now, Daniel. Bask in them and continue with the referrals.