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Posted: 12/14/2002 8:07:36 AM EDT
Got a quiz for you...where did the term "The real McCoy" come from? I just found out...kinda strange origin. [b][blue]NAKED[/blue][/b]
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 8:11:26 AM EDT
I think it was some kind of automatic oiler, maybe [BD]
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 8:16:19 AM EDT
Nope. Hint: Has to do with Booze.
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 8:43:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 9:31:14 AM EDT
I had heard the lubricator story. Another good one is the origin of Gave 'em "The Whole Nine Yards." Anyone got the scoop on that one? If not I'll post back later. Ryan
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 9:39:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By reidry: Another good one is the origin of Gave 'em "The Whole Nine Yards." Anyone got the scoop on that one? If not I'll post back later. Ryan
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I believe it originated in the Pacific Theater during WWII. US aircraft had wing mounted .50 cal machine guns with ammo boxes allowing exactly 9 yards worth of linked ammo. When a pilot emptied his guns on one strafing run, he "gave them the whole 9 yards."
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 9:43:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By reidry: I had heard the lubricator story. Another good one is the origin of Gave 'em "The Whole Nine Yards." Anyone got the scoop on that one? If not I'll post back later. Ryan
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I heard that in WW1 airplane fabric came in 9 yard bundles and after one pilot got shot up pretty bad he told his mechanic "better give it the whole nine yards".
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 9:43:05 AM EDT
Lumpy scores the first hit, but not the only possible origin. The aircraft you are speaking of was the F6F Hellcat, the .50 cal belts were approximately 9 yards long. Anyone got a different origin? I know of at least 3 more.
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 11:54:49 AM EDT
The History Channel's expose'today, on bootlegging and moonshine explained...during prohibition, a rumrunner named Bill McCoy brought in rum from the Bahamas and other carribean countries. He built very fast boats to deliver his hooch to willing consumers in the Northeast. His hooch was considered the cream of the crop, the best. There were alot of moonshiners and bootleggers bringing in cheap booze that did'nt taste as good as McCoys. Hence the term, is "The real McCoy?" So says the History Channel. Next...[b]where did the term bootlegger come from?[/b] [b][blue]NAKED[/blue][/b]
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 11:59:26 AM EDT
The Real McCoy This term meaning the genuine article derives from a brand of whisky. The phrase the real MacKay , referring to a brand of whisky of that name, appears in 1856. It was officially adopted as an advertising slogan by G.Mackay and Co. of Edinburgh in 1870. In the US, it became McCoy. The first general (non-whisky) use is by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883. Stevenson uses the MacKay spelling. Many claim that the term derives from Norman "Kid McCoy" Selby (1873-1940), an American champion boxer who was convicted of murder in 1924. An 1899 issue of the San Francisco Examiner refers to Selby as the Real McCoy, but as the term was well-established by this time Selby is not the origin. Alternately, it is often suggested that the term derives from Elijah McCoy (1843-1929), an inventor of a type of hydrostatic lubricators in 1872. Although he is earlier than Selby, he is not early enough to be the origin. But while clearly not the origin of the term, both Selby and Elijah McCoy may have influenced the change in spelling from MacKay to McCoy. ****************** The Whole Nine Yards This phrase is of unknown origin and is the subject of some debate. At issue is to what does nine yards refer. The meaning is clearly the entirety or everything, but nine yards is not a significant measure of anything. All we know about its origin is that the phrase cannot be traced any earlier than the mid-1960s and that it is American in origin. Perhaps the most common explanation is American football, but the canonical distance in that game is ten, not nine, yards. Also common are explanations based on length of cloth, but there is no standard length for a bolt of cloth (which measure anywhere from twenty to twenty-five yards), and nine yards is not a significant measure for any type of garment (a man's suit uses about seven yards of a thirty-inch bolt, double folded; sarongs, saris, kilts, kimonos, bridal veils and any number of other garments have been suggested, none with any accompanying evidence). The explanation that is currently circulating around the internet most frequently is that nine yards was the length of a belt of machine gun ammunition carried by a WWII fighter plane. To "give it the whole nine yards" was to expend all of one's ammo. This explanation is almost certainly false. For one thing, the type of fighter varies with the teller, sometimes Spitfire's in the Battle of Britain, sometimes varying American fighters in the South Pacific. Another reason to doubt it is that ammunition is either counted in rounds or by weight. It is never measured in length of a belt. Chapman points to an origin in the Army and Air Force, which fits in with the post-WWII-era origin, but is otherwise unexplained. James Kirkpatrick favors the explanation that it is a reference to the capacity of ready-mix concrete trucks (Fine Print: Reflections on the Writing Art). Safire also plumps for this explanation. This explanation, however, is somewhat questionable as the August 1964 issue of Ready Mixed Concrete magazine gives an average concrete mixer as having a capacity of four and a half cubic yards "just a few years ago" and an average of under six and a half in 1962. A 1988 source (Cecil Adams in More of the Straight Dope ), states current mixers range from seven to ten cubic yards, with a rough average of nine. While current averages may be on target, when the phrase arose, the average cement payload was less than four and a half cubic yards. So the cement truck explanation is probably incorrect. Chapman also suggests that it may be related to the British phrase dressed to the nines, where presumably nine has some numerological significance. He also suggests that yard may refer to the slang usage of that word to mean one hundred dollars. Other explanations include: The amount of dirt in a large burial plot; The number of properties, or yards, in a standard city block in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Levittown, (pick your city); The amount of cloth used in a burial shroud; The capacity of coal trucks; and The number of yards on a square rigged sailing ship (yards being the horizontal poles that hold the sails), even though it was not uncommon for such ships to have eighteen yards. One final possibility is that it does derive from American football, but was originally intended to be ironic. To go "the whole nine yards" was to fall just short of the goal. In summary, this is just one of those idiomatic phrases that defy explanation. This may not be satisfying, but it is not uncommon in English. An additional source for this entry was Cecil Adams; More of the Straight Dope; Ballantine; 1988; ISBN 0-345-35145-2.
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 12:34:57 PM EDT
Ok, how about "the rule of thumb" "Being led down the prim-rose path"
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 12:45:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Robertesq1: Ok, how about "the rule of thumb"
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Page14, Art2 amendmentB subsection 4 of the guide to getting around on the planet: The rule of thumb is that if you have to get from a to b and don't have a car, you utilize the finger of transportation to get there.
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 1:17:06 PM EDT
McCoy was a wiskey runner that brought it in by ship for years, as others cought on they also would sell from the ship as a boat would pull up the ship they would shout out "Is this the Real McCoy" BootLegger carried whiskey for sale in there boot tops to keep it hidden from the Law.
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 1:22:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/14/2002 1:26:13 PM EDT by KBaker]
Originally Posted By Robertesq1: Ok, how about "the rule of thumb"
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As I understand it, it was English Common Law that a man could beat his wife with a stick, so long as that stick was no thicker than the diameter of his thumb. (Or was it [i]her[/i] thumb?)
primrose path
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Primrose" is derived from the French primerole, itself derived from the Latin primula. It's been the accepted name for several flowers over the years, including the cowslip, daisy, and wild rose; the current Primula classification includes over 425 species. Since the 1400s, "primrose" has also been used metaphorically to refer to the first or best of something (primrose is popularly but erroneously thought to derive from prima rosa, "first rose"); so a "primrose path" is not necessarily simply one lined with primroses--given their metaphorical meaning, it can be seen as a description of the ultimate in loveliness. The current connotation of "primrose path," however, come from the old wordsmith himself, Shakespeare. Never one to use an old cliché when he could coin a new one, in the 1600s he first used the term to refer to a pleasant path to self-destruction. In Hamlet (published in 1600-1), Act I, Scene III, these words are spoken by Ophelia: [i]I shall the effect of this good lesson keep, As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother, Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own rede.[/i] [i](Snatched off a Google search)[/i]
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 1:25:08 PM EDT
Well done KBaker! Being led down the "Prim-rose Path" generally implies being led to one's undoing. Any guesses where the prim-rose path leads to??
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 1:34:12 PM EDT
Yes, and the path to the Alter was generally lined with Prim-roses. Hence, being led to one's undoing.
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 3:29:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/14/2002 3:30:17 PM EDT by Old_Painless]
The rule of thumb was a military term. It was used to estimate yardage to the enemy. If a soldier holds his arm straight out and holds his thumb up, it will take an enemy 3 steps to walk across his thumb width if the enemy is 100 yards away. Six steps meant 200 yards. This was used to range artillery or small arms fire. (I'm not sure about the exact number of steps, but the explaination is correct.)
Link Posted: 12/14/2002 4:07:11 PM EDT
I also heard that it was an old english law about beating your wife.
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