History of words and phrases

Getting down to brass tacks: In the old American country  store, the owner would put brass tacks, to measure 36 inches, in the counter top as they measured bolts of piece goods.

Inch: We know it as a unit of measurement. King Edgar of England (944) said it was the length of the knuckle of his thumb.

Dress to the nines: If you had a suit made and you ordered an expensive one, tradition says the tailor should use nine yards of material. 

Dave Scullin


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Volume 3, Issue 23, Posted 4:14 PM, 11.16.2011