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What's The Origin Of This Phrase?  
User currently offlineLax From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 2290 posts, RR: 3
Posted (13 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2605 times:

Anybody know how certain phrases get started?

The one I had in mind is "Highway Robbery". What exactly is "highway robbery"? I mean what is its origin?
I was curious if anyone knew.

If you can think of other sayings like this [with seemingly meaningless scattershot words thrown together to form a phrase that we all use in our everyday lives] please let me see your list. And the origins of any such phrases, if you know. Maybe we can kill a few hours playing around with words in this "dog days" of summer post!!

Hey....How about that one...."Dog Days of Summer". Where did that one come from?

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2585 times:

Highway robbery probably originates to the Old Western days when (stagecoach) robbers were known as "highwaymen".

as for the "dog days", that one goes back many, many years. It is the time (of year) where Sirius (a.k.a. the Dog Star, also the brightest star in the night sky) rises in the low southeastern skies just before sunrise during the hottest part of the year.


User currently offlineAA_717 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2576 times:

That sounds made up.

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2566 times:


But it isn´t.

And concerning highway robbery, what´s the problem with that - it´s a robbery performed on a highway, isn´t it?

Daniel Smile


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2560 times:

Matt,

The term goes a lot further back than that, although you have the right idea.

Since the invention of roads between cities and towns (called highways, even if they were not much more than dirt roads), thieves (called highwaymen) staked themselves out along the road to rob lone travellers. Travelling between towns at the time (we are talking from 2000 years ago until the industrial revolution) was dangerous, and you were virtually guaranteed to be robbed if you travelled alone. The solution was to travel in large groups. Did you ever read Chaucer? The pilgrims travelled together for safety, not necessarily for the company.

Charles


User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2556 times:

I know the expression 'red herring' which refers to a side-issue to distract people from the main issue, supposedly came from fox hunting. An actual herring was dragged on a rope to distract the dogs from the foxes' scent-trails. Apparently, the red herring had a stronger odor and was the fish of choice.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineTransactoid From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

Dog days of summer refer to the days in August when the "dog star" (cirius? - forget the astronomical name - in constellation canis major) is overheard.

User currently offlineLax From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 2290 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2517 times:

Thanks guys, for some stellar information!

Just "Ask It On A-Net" ... and you'll find somebody with the answer.

Now then, what about this miserable stock market situation?? What's an investor to do these days??  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7444 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2493 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

What about the word COP.
I have heard 2 theories. What are yours? i'll post mine later.



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