Origins of Common Phrases
Do you or anyone you know own a large, awkward or weighty object? If so, this is called a white elephant. White elephants used to be highly sacred animals in Thailand and was on their national flag until 1917. However, according to a Thailand legend, these animals served as a punishment to some people in the southeastern Asian country. You see if someone angered a Siamese king, he would have presented this animal as a gift to the offending person. Now while it may seem like a reward of sorts, any of you who have raised elephants will know that they are very expensive to feed, house, and care for and usually drove the offender into financial ruin. How’s that for punishment?
I have an idea. After you have finished reading my article, why not go out and paint the town red? This phrase had likely come about from a wild, drunken night in 1837. In the English town of Melton Mowbray one night, the Marquis of Waterford took a group of friends out and they got very inebriated. The Marquis was a well-known drunkard and troublemaker anyway but this particular night he was very mischievous. The Marquis and his friends went about the town after getting sloshed and caused a little vandalism. They did things like pulling knockers off of doors, smashing flower pots and even broke some windows. They finished their wild night by painting a tollgate a red. They did the same thing on some doors of the homes in the town and even painted a swan statue red. Of course, the Marquis and his friends later paid for the damages but that is why a wild night is referred to as painting the town red.
Did you ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Of course this means that someone is in a bad mood. This phrase came about when people who write left handed or favor their left side of their body or anything, really, on the left is considered disturbing, so innkeepers used to make sure that the left side of the bed was pushed against the wall of the rooms so people would have to get out of bed on the right side.
Now you know the origins of some popular phrases so go ahead and show your true colors by spilling the beans about them. This way you can sleep tight and won’t have to have a piece of humble pie.
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