The Weird And Wonderful Origins Of 30 Popular Sayings.
#7. "On the wagon"
Meaning: Abstaining from alcohol.
Origin: This phrase was a product of Prohibition times, when water wagons (used for street cleaning) were a common thing in the United States. People who swore not to drink alcohol would joke that they would drink from the water wagon than imbibe.
#8. "Caught red-handed"
Meaning: To be caught doing something bad.
Origin: This phrase comes from a law that stated that if you butchered an animal that didn't belong to you, you had to be caught with the animal's blood on your hands to be prosecuted.
#9. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."
Meaning: Don't get rid of valuable things when you're getting rid of unnecessary things.
Origin: During the 1500s, most people bathed once a year, and everyone used the same bathwater. First, the men would bathe, followed by the women, and finally, the children. By the time baby could get the bath, the water was usually thick and cloudy - mother's had to be careful not to lose or empty their baby out with the tub!
#10. "Give the cold shoulder"
Meaning: To indicate that someone isn't welcome.
Origin: Now it's considered rude, but it wasn't always. In medieval England, a host let his guests know that it was time to leave by offering a piece of cold meat from the shoulder of mutton, beef, or pork.
#11. "Show your true colors"
Meaning: To reveal one’s true nature.
Origin: This is an old wartime reference, when ships used multiple flags to confuse enemies. However, according to the rules of warfare, a ship had to show its real flag- or colors- before firing a shot.
#12. "Get up on the wrong side of the bed"
Meaning: To start the day in a bad mood.
Origin: In Roman times, it was bad luck to get out of bed on the left side. If you did, you were bound to have a bad day.
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