Author Topic: Where Did THAT Come From?  (Read 3741 times)

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Offline elise

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 09:40 PM »
"THAT'S ALL SHE WROTE!"

This is very much an American expression.  The phrase is used to convey the meaning of 'it's all over; there's no more to be said'. When seeking the expression's origin it would help to know who 'she' was and what exactly it was that she wrote. As we shall see, and as so often with etymology, that's not entirely clear.

The popular version of the origin of this expression is that it is the punch line of a mournful tale about an American GI serving overseas in WWII. The said sad serviceman is supposed to have received a letter from his sweetheart. He reads it to his colleagues: "Dear John". Well, go on, they say. "That's it; that's all she wrote". The story is plausible; 'Dear John' was the standard cipher amongst the US military for the kind of letter that has now been replaced by a 'you're so dumped' text message.

I felt it shelter to speak to you  ~Emily Dickinson

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 11:35 AM »
I just had to laugh at " you're so dumped."
Makes dear John seem so innocuous now
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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2014, 04:28 PM »
Not worth a grain of salt:

This misstatement is likely caused by a mix-up between two common phrases: "worth his salt" and "with a grain of salt." The former refers to a person who is deemed of good stock and fine, upstanding character. Early Roman soldiers earned an allowance of salt for their efforts, and a soldier who was "worth his salt" was one whose performance was up to snuff. (The Latin word for this allowance, salarium, is where we derive the word salary) [source: Mussulman].

The latter phrase means to accept a statement while remaining skeptical about whether it's actually true. It refers to the idea that food is more easily swallowed when taken with a tiny bit of salt [source: The Phrase Finder].
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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 03:25 PM »
"All intents and purposes" is a 500-year-old turn of phrase coined in an English Act of Parliament by King Henry VIII. It actually stated, "to all intents, constructions and purposes" and meant "in every practical sense." It was shortened to the popular version in 1709.

The butchered form -- "all intensive purposes" -- sounds similar, which is probably the reason it's been popping up in newspapers and everyday speech since as early as 1870 [sources: Expect Labs, Safire].
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Offline A_Mourning_Glory

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2014, 11:57 PM »
"THAT GUY'S O.K."

I learned this from the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, as quoted here the words of Pat played by Bradley Cooper...

"Pat: Here's a fun fact. You know where the term 'OK' comes from?
Veronica: No. No, I don't.
Ronnie: Where?
Pat: Well, Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States of America, is from Kinderhook, New York...
Veronica: Oh.
Pat: ...and he was part of a club, a men's club, called Old Kinderhook. And if you were cool,
 you were in the club, they'd say, "That guy's OK." Cause he was in the Old Kinderhooks."
"I thought I'd begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then I thought, why should I? He never reads any of mine."
....Spike Milligan (1918-2002)...

Offline daisyxo

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2018, 08:03 PM »

Read the Riot Act

These days, angry parents might threaten to “read the riot act” to their unruly children. But in 18th-century England, the Riot Act was a very real document, and it was often recited aloud to angry mobs. Instituted in 1715, the Riot Act gave the British government the authority to label any group of more than 12 people a threat to the peace. In these circumstances, a public official would read a small portion of the Riot Act and order the people to “disperse themselves, and peaceably depart to their habitations.” Anyone that remained after one hour was subject to arrest or removal by force. The law was later put to the test in 1819 during the infamous Peterloo Massacre, in which a cavalry unit attacked a large group of protestors after they appeared to ignore a reading of the Riot Act.
~ Marsha ~
 

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