Are there phrases or sayings that you say on a daily basis that sound odd if you actually stop to think about them? Do you ever wonder where they came from? We uncover some of the origins of some popular phrases and sayings so you can sound smart in front of your friends.
1. “Let the cat out of the bag.”
When you say you let the cat out of the bag, you meant you spilled someone’s secret. The origin of this one was from the 18th century. Pigs were often sold in bags, but criminals would replace a pig with a cat.
2. “You’re pulling my leg.”
If someone is teasing you, it is often referred to as pulling your leg. This one also relates to the criminals in the 18th century. They would pull victims by their legs to easily rob them.
3. “Break a leg.”
The popular theater term, break a leg, actually did originate in the theater. Theater actors are very superstitious and wishing someone good luck is considered bad luck in their eyes. So, they started wishing ill on each other to actually bring about good luck.
4. “Close, but no cigar.”
At the carnival, they used to give cigars as prizes. So, it was actually literal when you almost won, they would say, “close, but no cigar”.
5. “Once in a blue moon.”
A real blue moon is rare, so naturally, it would mean something that doesn’t happen very often.
6. “Mind your Ps and Qs.”
In the 17th century, when you went to a bar you could get beer in a pint or a quart. If someone was getting drunk and rowdy, the bartender might tell them to mind their Ps and Qs. Now it relates to everyone’s manners, whether they are drunk or not.
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