History of words and phrases

On skid row:  It means the rather grimy quarter of the city. The expression comes from the Seattle timber industry. A "skid row" was a row of logs down which other felled timber was slid or skidded. It became slang for an area that the lumberjacks would seek brothels and liquor.

A-1: This was started as a Marine insurance term. The ships were graded by letter; the cargo by number. "A" meant the ship itself was perfect; "1" that the cargo was likewise perfect.

Pleased as punch: Comes from puppet show Punch and Judy. Punch had a lot to be pleased about; his quick wit was triumphant even over the devil.

Dave scullin


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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:26 AM, 01.21.2014