Jul 25, 2019

Random Thursday

Let's dive right back into The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox to see what more we can learn about Expressions!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The flag you see here is called "Jolly Roger" and it was used by pirates to alert merchant ships that they would be boarded and plundered by force if they didn't surrender. There were other flags too, all with different pictures and meanings, such as an hourglass that meant "time is running out." The "Jolly Roger" is the most famous though and got its name from mispronouncing "Ali Rajah," an Arabic name for "king of the sea."

And here I thought, "Jolly Roger" was the ship's name! I mean, I know it's Captain Hook's ship name, so there's that!

(image borrowed from New York Post)
Hot summer days are called "dog days" and this term dates back to Egyptian times when the Egyptians noticed that Sirius, the Dog Star, was in the constellation "Canis Major," and was the brightest star in the heavens. They noticed that when Sirius came out it was in July, which was when the Nile had its annual flooding, making it a good time for harvest. The Romans believed that because of the brightness, Sirius added to the heat of the summer and so it them who called July and August the "dog days."

That's an interesting line of history.

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
A misleading sales pitch is referred to as a "song and dance," this phrase dates back to the days of traveling vaudeville shows. Comedian type folks were the ones who went in between the big picture show people. It was the comedian's job to entertain the audience by telling jokes within a song and dance routine until the next headliner was ready to take the stage. Since that time, a well-rehearsed routine that diverts your attentions from what you came to see is called a "song and dance."

Interesting...and yet, it seemed less sinister way back when!

(image borrowed from Disney Wiki)
In the mid-1700's the London Cathedral of St. Paul was falling apart and in order to pay for repairs they had to merge with the diocese of the newer St. Peter's Cathedral. The parishioners of St. Peter's resented this fact and came up with the rallying chant, they're "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Not only was I wasn't familiar with this saying, but never would've guessed it was related to actual churches! As in the building!! Lol.


1 comment:

  1. All of these are such interesting facts! I loved learning about the origin of Dog Days so I really appreciate you sharing!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders


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