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LAX
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What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Mon Aug 27, 2001 2:51 pm

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?
 
Matt D
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Mon Aug 27, 2001 3:03 pm

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.
 
AA_717
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Mon Aug 27, 2001 4:02 pm

That sounds made up.
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Mon Aug 27, 2001 8:03 pm


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
 
cfalk
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Tue Aug 28, 2001 12:53 am

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
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
JetService
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Tue Aug 28, 2001 1:05 am

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!"
 
Transactoid
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 1:35 am

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.
 
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LAX
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 7:53 am

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
 
mirrodie
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RE: What's The Origin Of This Phrase?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:35 am

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