Short Stuff: More Phrase Origins


Hey and welcome to the shortstop I'm Josh. There's chuck jury's out there fiddling around somewhere in the Ethernet of the Internet. In whatever and this is short stuff. Let me stop talking. Let's go. Yeah this is something we've done before and we will do again because as everyone knows we like phrase origins I especially love phrase origins. And I think we're doing three today the second one which can be summed up in a single sentence probably. But. We're going to start with a grain of salt take it with a grain of salt buddy. I will take it with a grain of salt because I just ingested some poison. Of No salt won't help that. Oh well according to pliny the elder wouldn't they think that that's where the phrase take this with a grain of salt really finds its origin, and by the way, take something with a grain of salt means that you should be skeptical of what you're about to hear or see or whatever that that there's the this information that you're about to receive is of dubious origin, right? that's that's the current understanding of take it with a grain of salt or a pinch assault or dose of salt. However, you put it. That's the current meaning of it, but they think as far back as. Pliny the elder's naturalists historian that that that's where it finds its origin. That's actually kind of a referential thing to that to a recipe he gave under the Walnut section. Yeah take to dried walnuts to figs and twenty leaves Roo pound them all together. All right with the addition of a grain of salt. Oh, if a person this mixture fasting, he will be proof against poisons for that day. So. If you were, if you thought you were going to be poisoned that day before you eat breakfast eat this concoction that includes a grain of salt and no poison will befall you. Yeah. But here's the deal that explains nothing about this phrase other than he said, the words grain of salt. In his language which was come Galanos Sali's. Because, it's not metaphorical its littoral if you WanNa talk about metaphor. You need to flash forward quite a bit till sixteen forty, seven. Yeah. John. Trap used it in a book called the commentary commentary on old and new testaments Colon boring. Now. I just made that part up. He and he said this is to be taken with a grain of salt. But we still aren't sure what he meant by that. I want to hazard a guess here. I think what John Trap who has a great name by the way what he was saying Is that this the following is very difficult to to hear or it's hard information to swallow. Aka Poisonous. Okay so you would have to take this with a grain of salt. That's my guess. Now, I'm putting this out there everybody because short stuff. I did not go to the trouble of reading John Traps commentary on the old and new testaments income. So it's a guess but man, oh, man, it is a good guess. Yeah. That makes sense and it did pop up since then. But usually again referring to actual grains of salt than in nineteen eight in the. Athem, it's a literary journal. Had this line are reasons for not accepting the authors pictures of early Ireland without many grains of salt which can even make heads or tails of that sentence period? No. But I think they were wailing on the photographer which it's like. Just don't accept the pictures fun of them in the in the magazine. That's like us, criticizing House folks articles that we based episodes on. We'd never do that. No, it'd just be mean but this doesn't and I think this one frustrated me because even that. It still doesn't say where it came from like it or why they started saying grain of salt to mean what they meant metaphorically yes. Because it was terribly written in this how stuff works article Well. Did you find a a reason because I didn't I didn't I didn't just kind of suddenly is like it just appeared and get the impression that the grain of salt is kind of appeared out of nowhere that it was Not appeared out of nowhere that they have kinda traced it back but there's not any real clarification I'll tell you what has a clarification chuck a clear lineage and that is the the phrase close but no cigar. Yeah. This one's easy and we can definitely get this in the next minute and twenty seconds before our break. because. It's super easy in the early twentieth century when you went to these traveling carnivals and they had these rip-off Games where you would throw a ring on a coke bottle or shoot a basketball into a hoop that's barely the size of a basketball which I didn't figure out. So I was way too old right that was a standard hoop gray hair by then I did You're meant to not win those games generally or to come close to spend more money, and that's the whole idea but back then. What was the prize or one of the prizes that you would get? A cigar. That's right. So if you were sitting there throwing, you know doing a ring, toss around some glass bottles and you missed you missed it. You missed you ran out of rings. The Carnival Barker would say close but no cigar no see So that's where the origin comes from or that phrase comes from, which is great because it's a nice tidy package there's no controversy no disputing it and it's just done. It's not like the ugly horrible grain of salt origin and kids. Six Year olds everywhere would go with my never get the cigar and their dad would say here you go son have mine. Great. To take a break. Yeah. I thought that was implied by the pregnant pause. We'll talk about south balls right after this. Relief that's why s game. 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All right chuck talking southpaws and this one's like a neat combination between horrible ugly grain of salt and beautiful perfect close. But no cigar because there's a lot of different ideas that that are competing for the origin that aren't necessarily right. But aren't necessarily wrong either. So there's a lot of great info involved. That's right. and and it Kinda comes down to a couple of sports. South. Paul is has long been linked to boxing. And Baseball Rocky Balboa was a southpaw. No, was he? Yeah I think. So right I don't know I don't pay that close of attention I'm just enthralled by the action you're just all about those muscles. Yeah. Yeah I. Think it was I think it's kind of a deal that he was a southpaw. Okay So you've heard it to be about boxers in baseball, but generally even more specifically it's been associated with pitchers. left-handed pitcher is known as the South Paul. Okay. Yes. Now that's that's the one I've always heard it from never. or No I'm sorry. I was about to say the reverse of the truth I've always heard it from that's. Right the the I've always heard of it being associated with boxing never heard associated with baseball. Okay. Yeah. Baseball pitchers generally it's you know it's an old school term but I've definitely heard it before. So even before necessarily it was involved in boxing or it was involved with boxing. In this act, there was a political cartoon that was referencing boxing and we just didn't realize it They're the earliest one of the earliest mentions of the left hand especially involved in. A punch being called a south southpaw comes from a forty eight editorial cartoon that showed a candidate named Lewis. CASS who is running for the Democrats. He just laid out Zachary Taylor and Taylor's running-mate Millard fillmore. Millard fillmore has a black eye and there's a quote coming from which chuck I think. You'd be really good to read this quote. Kersee? Old. Hoss. What Paul he has given. Does that was one of the Best Millard fillmore impressions. I've ever heard in my life W. O. T. Watt I'm going to bring that back Yep. So Millard fillmore is calling at the very least the punch that Lewis Cass landed on a southpaw. If Not Lewis Cass a southpaw for using his left hand who knows but the idea is southpaw in knocking a person to the ground with your fists associated at least as early as eighteen forty eight at least is politics is concerned. Yeah. There was there were more specific boxing references. There was one in eighteen sixty in a bare knuckle. Fight I guess serve boxing match. pugilists squaring off against one another in other way to put it in the New York herald the reporter David Woods reported that in the ninth round own I'm sorry David Woods was the boxer David. Woods planted his southpaw. Under the Chin under his opponent's Chin laying and flat as a pancake, and that wasn't calling him south ball but called his fist his self ball two words, right Okay. So that's that's good enough for me. I say boxing but unfortunately, there's some. contemporaneous use of southpaws far as pitching goes as far back as eighteen fifty eight in the New York Atlas there's mention of a left handed first baseman who's called the southpaw that predates that boxing reference although it comes after the Millard fillmore quote there's some others like in eighteen, seventy, five edition of Saint Louis newspaper So it seems to have been associated not just with pitchers, but the pictures are the ones who have the great origin story of associating left handedness with being southpaw. Yay and there was some people said that ballparks were oriented in the eighteen hundreds with home plate. facing west, which meant that a lefty player facing West would be pitching with his South Southpaw but. You know not, all baseball stadiums were oriented that way. So that seems a little flimsy to me. I was thinking of the boxing thing if you're a boxer. You've got your right hand up as your lead hand in your left hand would be south. So that might be your South Pa but if you are a south ball than your left hand is up so that doesn't really make sense. That's right. That's right. It's not sensible at all, which means it's not solved. We have no idea what the true origin of South Pole is. But at least there's a lot more information about it that we can choose from and make your own decision. So we won for three on this one. No we're two or three. I'm including South Salsa so great close cigars literally perfect and then I don't even WanNa bring out the other one again. GOING TO GO ON A salt free diet for the next week. Yeah that'll show salt Well, if you WANNA show salt well, you do that same thing yourself and because we have run out of things to say everybody short stuff is out. Stuff, you should know production of iheartradio's how stuff works for more podcasts from my heart radio is iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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