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Author Topic: Where did this phrase come from?  (Read 3058 times)  Share 

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guest

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Where did this phrase come from?
« on: April 24, 2010, 09:30:50 PM »
Don't yank my chain.

Offline David Bucci

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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2010, 11:16:30 PM »
Good one.  Nice idea for something different!  I don't know, does anyone?


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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 03:15:20 AM »
I just watched a show today called "How States Got Their Shapes", and the answer was in there.  According to this show, in Colorado back in the 1800's there were gold mines all over the place.  The workers had to use the bathroom while down there and they used a box shaped toilet that rolled on the tracks. The tracks weren't always level so all the workers carried a chain with them that they would lay in between the tracks and the wheels on the rolling toilet to prevent it from rolling down the tracks with the person using the toilet on board. The phrase "don't yank my chain" came about because they obviously didn't want any one to yank the chain and send them rolling down the tracks. 

Side note: That rolling toilet was nicknamed "thunder bucket". Just in case you were wondering where that name derived from.

Offline DoubleR

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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2010, 06:24:33 AM »
Did the phrase originate during the days of slavery when people were chained together?

Offline Doll

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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2010, 06:35:18 AM »
This is the only thing I could find:

From "The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books, New York, 1990; originally published in Great Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing, 1990):

"YANK (SOMEONE AROUND/SOMEONE'S CHAIN) -- vb. American to mislead, deceive, harass or irrate. The image on which the expression is based is that of a chained or leashed animal or prisoner being thoughtlessly or maliciously jerked about or led in different directions..."
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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2010, 01:50:02 PM »
I seen it on the History channel, and it was what Ben said.
How they put a chain under the rail carts in the mines so their crapper cart didn't roll away

Offline MadMedic47

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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2010, 03:10:30 PM »
Whether it is the true origin of the phrase or not I like the explanation!  :laugh:
"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed." G. K. Chesterton,


Offline Citygirl

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Re: Where did this phrase come from?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2010, 03:23:38 PM »
Knock on wood..

Touch Wood, An old superstition to avert bad luck or misfortune or to make sure of something good; also when feeling pleased with one's achievement or when bragging. Traditionally certain trees, such as the oak, ash, hazel, hawthorn and willow, had a sacred significance and thus protective powers. Properly these should be the ones touched, but this detail has largely passed into oblivion and any wood to hand is now used. Often, jocularly, the head is touched.

Source:
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable