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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Greetings Infomaniacs,

Sayings, saws, idioms, they creep into our language and our culture from days gone past and usually we have no idea where they come from. Sometimes we don't even know what they are supposed to mean. But they all come from somewhere.

Enjoy!

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another."

HINT: An American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, and satirist, probably most famous for his 'dictionary'.

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RANDOM TIDBITS

NEVER LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH

A horse's teeth are a good indicator of its age. Hence, St. Jerome (A.D. 400), who never accepted payment for his writings, penned the famous adage "Never inspect the teeth of a gift horse," which became the more familiar "Never look a gift horse in the mouth."

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BITE THE BULLET

This old saying means to grin and bear a painful situation. It comes from the days before anesthetics. A soldier about to undergo an operation was given a bullet to bite to keep from screaming.

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BITTER END

Anchor cable was wrapped around posts called bitts. The last piece of cable was called the bitter end. If you let out the cable to the bitter end there was nothing else you could do, you had reached the end of your resources. Although this origin is not definitive, it is very plausible.

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DUTCH COURAGE

In the 17th century England and Holland were rivals. They fought wars in 1652-54, 1665-67 and 1672-74. It was said (very unfairly) that the Dutch had to drink alcohol to build up their courage. Other insulting phrases are Dutch treat (meaning you pay for yourself) and Double Dutch meaning gibberish.

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FLASH IN THE PAN

Muskets had a priming pan, which was filled with gunpowder. When flint hit steel it ignited the powder in the pan, which in turn ignited the main charge of gunpowder and fired the musket ball. However sometimes the powder in the pan failed to light the main charge. In that case you had a flash in the pan.

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HOIST BY YOUR OWN PETARD

A petard was a type of Tudor bomb. It was a container of gunpowder with a fuse, which was placed against a wooden gate. Sometimes all things did not go to plan and the petard exploded prematurely blowing you into the air. You were hoist by your own petard.




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*** Weekly Mind-Scrambler ***

This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching!

Submit your answer by clicking: TheDailyTease

Answer will be posted in Friday's Trivia Today. Good Luck! If your name appears in Friday's newsletter, EMAIL MICHELE your complete name and address to be shipped your prize.

Be sure to put "Winner" in the subject line.

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another."

ANSWER: Ambrose Bierce

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