Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am curious about weird stuff, I admit it....

"Don't Look a Gift Horse In the Mouth"

For instance I have been searching for a website that could tell me the origins of sayings that we use in everyday language. Or for instance can translate all those sayings from Jane Austen's novels: for instance "I have a hankering to see it." Not that you can't figure it out but I just want to know where in the world did the word "hankering" come from and why did she use it?

So in my search I stumbled upon this great site:
No I didn't find "hankering" but I did find the origin of the meaning: "like a chicken with its head cut off" which means:
In a frenzied manner.
Poultry may sometimes run around frenziedly for several minutes after decapitation.
The phrase was known in the USA by the late 19th century. It is recorded in print being used as a simile from the 1880s. For example, this piece about an escaped prisoner in The Atlanta Constitution, July 1882:
"Finding himself free from the heavy shackles, he bounced to his feet and commenced darting about like a chicken with its head cut off..."

So.. now you know. smile....