Silver Bullet

Supercharged
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Sep 11, 2007
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Washington
In George Washington's day, there were of course no camera's. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.
Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted or by who you were, but rather by how many limbs were to be painted in the likeness. Arms and Legs are "limbs" therefore painting them into the likeness would cost the buyer more money.

Hence the expression, "OK, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg!":rolleyes:
 

rusty

Turbocharged
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
735
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Northwest, MO.
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2005 Rocket III
I love history lessons. And that's a good one. There are many more "sayings" that I would like to know the meaning of. Keep 'em coming.

See ya.
 

britman

Nitrous
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Sep 8, 2006
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Fredericksburg, Virginia
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2005 Rocket 3/2014 Moto Guzzi Touring
Here You Go Flip

http://www.goodteeth.com/gwteeth.htm

What is interesting is that I reside about a half a mile from George's boyhood home, known as Ferry Farms which is also the name of my subdivision because it was part of his original farm. It is supposed be where he chopped down the cherry tree and could not lie about the deed. There are a number of historical attractions in the City of Fredericksburg relating to old George and his relatives.
 

Sidecar Flip

Living Legend
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
6,356
Location
20150 Mc Carty Rd. Deerfield, Michigan 49238
http://www.goodteeth.com/gwteeth.htm

What is interesting is that I reside about a half a mile from George's boyhood home, known as Ferry Farms which is also the name of my subdivision because it was part of his original farm. It is supposed be where he chopped down the cherry tree and could not lie about the deed. There are a number of historical attractions in the City of Fredericksburg relating to old George and his relatives.

**** George, I didn't know you were a Fairy. I'll be extra careful not to piss you off. You might turn me into a pile of.........

If that's true then whose teeth are at his homestead exhibit. I've been there and seen the teeth. Maybe they belonged to Mrs. GW??:D
 

PianoMan

Nitrous
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
1,244
Location
Overland Park, Kansas USA
Just Wanted To Help

I've been there and seen the teeth. Maybe they belonged to Mrs. GW??

I saw an elderly couple at McDonalds yesterday. They sat down next to me and only had 1 burger, 1 small order of fries and 1 drink. I the old man as he carefully cut and then placed half the burger on each of their plates. He carefully divided the fries and poured half his drink in her empty cup.

I felt bad and walked up to them and offered to buy another meal ..... but he declined. "Son, my wife and I have been married 54 years and we've always, always shared everything we've gotten. It's just her turn to use the teeth!"

Sorry Flip..... couldn't pass up the chance!
 

Sidecar Flip

Living Legend
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
6,356
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20150 Mc Carty Rd. Deerfield, Michigan 49238
That's okay Dave. I don't take it personally anyway. I have to wear the friggin things at school and that's bad enough.

I still want to know who's teeth are at GW's homestead. Those teeth have kind of a special meaning to me. Remember Ed and Carol, my riding friends on the HD's? Last time we did a big trip, we went down the east coast on the bikes (back then not the R3 or the HD's) and stopped at GW's homestead and Ed's camera decided to eat a roll of 35mm film (this was before the day of digital cameras) in GW's home. He had to duck into a closet to open the camera and get the film unstuck and when he came out of the dark closet into the brightly illuminated room, he tripped right over the display case where the teeth were and the teeth fell out on the floor of all things. There was (I presume) a park employee in the room, I still remember, he was an older black gentleman and he came running over and scooped up the teeth exclaiming that they belonged to GW and carefully put them back in the case. I thought it was all extremely funny. Ed didn't, Carol didn't and the park man didn't. That's why I remember the teeth so well. Little did I know at the time that I too would have a set though mine aren't wood but my wife sometimes thinks my brain is.:D Like what's his name says...That's the rest of the story....
 

Hero Blob

Supercharged
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
342
Location
Va
The internet certainly tends to bring out the gullible side in otherwise perceptive people, doesn't it? I've heard that story a dozen times, but it's far from the silliest going around. I can't really go into the details of one particular e-mail tale that many folks have asked me about, but let's just say that any word origin story you may have received lately about manure getting wet while being transported by ship is absolute hogwash.
Onward. The story you received, which claims that portrait painters used to charge by the amount of the subject they included in the painting (i.e., more for the full figure, less for just the head and shoulders) is utter bunk.
The phrase "cost an arm and a leg," meaning to cost a great deal or an exorbitant amount, is simply a hyperbolic figure of speech comparing the cost of something to the grievous loss of two important limbs. There isn't really any "story" behind the phrase, other than the desire of whoever came up with the metaphor to impress the listener with the outrageous price of something. Unfortunately, as is often the case, we have no way of knowing exactly who coined the phrase, although it hasn't been around as long as you might think. Surprisingly, the earliest known use of "cost an arm and a leg" in print dates back only to 1956, in Billie Holiday's autobiography "Lady Sings the Blues," in which she writes "Finally she found someone who sold her some stuff for an arm and a leg." It is unlikely that Billie Holiday herself coined the phrase, but she may well have popularized it with her book.
If I had to guess at the inspiration for "cost and arm and a leg," I'd say that it was probably an outgrowth of the older phrase "I'd give my right arm for," meaning that the speaker would be willing to make a great sacrifice to obtain or do something, which dates back to the mid-19th century. "An arm and a leg" may simply have arisen as an attempt to top that already grisly level of sacrifice.






This is a pretty good site for those who might be interested.


http://www.word-detective.com/index.html
 
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