“Two Peas In A Pod” and Other Popular Phrases
Guys, are you and your wife (or girlfriend) “two peas in a pod” or do you think of her as “the old ball and chain”. If the former, good for you, if the latter, don’t ever let her hear you say it if you know what’s good for you. Either way it’s fun to look behind the phrases and find out where they came from.
A recent column in the CDA Press investigated a few old saws and found the following.
Two peas in a pod: The phrase from the 16th century attributed to John Lyle, who wrote, “Wherin I am not unlike unto the unskilfull Painter, who having drawen the Twinnes of Hippocrates, (who wer as lyke as one pease is to another.”
The old ball and chain: Early 19th century term that, no so politically correct, compares one’s wife to the apparatus strapped to a prisoner’s leg in American and British prisons. To use the term today within earshot leaves you open to frying pan assault.
I’ve got a frog in my throat: In 1894, and advertisement for the Taylor Brothers stated they had a “cure for hoarseness” called “Frog in the Throat.” The ad said the cure was 10 cents a box. I could find no information that would describe how froggy you’d feel after taking the cure …
Busy as a bee: Phrase coined before 1400, by Chaucer, alluding to the work ethic of the honey-seeking stinging machine.
A man after my own heart: Actually comes from the King James’ Bible, Samuel 13:14: “But now thy kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”
Cool as a cucumber: Comes from the 1732 poem “New Song on New Similes,” “I (being as) cool as a cucumber could see the rest of womankind.”
There are a lot more. Check out the origins here.