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English idioms

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English idioms - Page 41 Empty phrase origin

Message  MurielB Mar 19 Jan - 22:10

Ok but it will cost you an arm and a leg=>In George Washington's days,prices charged by painters were according to the number of limbs they had to paint

Here comes the big wig=>Ostentation was the order of the day in Bourbon France so the wigs became bigger to the point of absurdity (rich and important people had big wigs)

chairman or chairman of the board =>In the late 1700 most houses had only a room. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor.

crack smile =>In 1700's women wore wax to smooth out their complexion (acne scars). Should a woman smile the wax would crack (crack a smile)

losing face =>when 1700’s women sat too close to the fire, the wax they put on their face would melt therefore the expresssion "losing face"

straight laced =>At the time of the corsets, a proper and dignified woman, as in "straight laced "wore a tightly tied lace

playing with a full deck=>There is a popular story that the origin of this phrase dates back to the 1500s, when a tax was levied against decks of cards. To avoid paying tax people would  play with 51 decks and those playing with full decks were thought to be dumb

gossip=> Early polititians required feedbacks from the public and would send assistants to"sip here and sip there" hence: gossip

minding your P's and Q's=> A bar maid’s job was to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term minding your 'P's and 'Q's 

_________________
France Merci de me faire part des grosses fautes dans mes messages en langue étrangère (en Message Privé). Grâce à vos remarques, je pourrai m'améliorer  :-) 
Pour n'importe quelle  question =>muriel.bercez@gmail.com
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You Don't speak French              =>Gb,De, Esp, It 
MurielB
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