Sunday, August 14, 2016

Expressions - Bill Neville

Commentary by T.W. Bill Neville

As the aging process and the tumultuous world situations tax even my imaginations, I find myself recalling calmer, less complicated, "EXPRESSIONS", serving as a "placebo" resolution of my distrust of today's society to survive.

Taking the exorbitant cost of living today, as an example, I'm reminded of that "expression", "It will cost an arm and a leg." A quick look at "it's" derivation and I find that applied to the cost of portrait painting in Colonial days, leading to the fact that most portraits did not include "arms" or "legs", because of their painting difficulty and the extra cost.

In the same times, "wigs" were almost exclusive to the "rich", with women going with silk and men with wool, after having their heads shaved. Between perspiration, lice and airborne dirt, the wigs had to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. As a result of the cleaning process, the wigs became fluffy and enlarged, leading to the expression that, the wearer must rich, and a "BIG WIG."

As a kid in Indiana, many was the time, when in exasperation to being bullied, I would resort to shouting Leave me alone, and "Mind you own bee's wax." Now I find out that the saying came from the fact that Acne skin conditions resulted in people using "Bee's wax" to hide the facial blemishes, and when singled out for still looking bad, they would shout out the "saying!"

Others, women primarily, always are shown without a smile, because if they did the "Bees wax" would crack, and that's where the expression, "Cracking a smile," came from They dare sit too near the fireplace or they could suffer "Losing face."

The expression, "Not playing with a full deck" came about as a result of a "tax" being put on all Playing Cards containing the "Ace" of spades. To avoid paying the tax, they would settle for a 51 card deck, and bear the shame of being accused of "Not playing with a full deck!!"
Right or wrong, good or bad, the "next" time you see the supposed "leaders" of this nation emoting in public, you might invite them to join in your "next" card game.

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