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Where'd it come from?

Created date

June 18th, 2010

Jerry Built (also Jerry Rigged) '

Most assume that this term comes from the British WW II slang for Germans, known to the Queen s soldiers as Jerrys . This doesn t make much sense, however, considering Germany s reputation for meticulous engineering. Jerry built, which refers to slip-shod construction, actually goes as far back as 1869. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term may come from the name of a builder presumably Jerry who was known for his poor craftsmanship. Today, the phrase carries this connotation in common usage. ' Prefabricated sheds are usually Jerry built.

True Colors '

This phrase comes from the good old days of swashbuckling piracy, when Caribbean winds billowed the sails of ships once the property of a royal navy or unfortunate merchant. Pirates would often fly a legitimate national flag (their colors) to mislead their quarry as they cruised the turquoise waters in search of plunder. Once within striking distance, they would raise their true colors, the skull and bones of the Jolly Roger, thus exposing their real identity. In modern conversation, the phrase refers to the unmasking of one s true personality. Once he starts drinking, his inhibitions melt away and his true colors show.

Bang for Your Buck

According to William Safire sPolitical Dictionary(Oxford University Press, 2008), Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson first used bang for your buck in reference to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles s 1954 policy of massive retaliation. Quite literally, it was cheaper to blow up the world with nuclear weapons because Americans would get more destruction for their tax dollar. ' The phrase still holds the same basic meaning more for your money. ' You re getting more bang for your buck buying two loaves of bread for $1.

Blue Blood

Blue blood finds its origin with the aristocracy of Castile, Spain. Supposedly, the oldest families in that region boasted that they were of pure breed and blood, having never intermarried with the dark-skinned Moors, who controlled portions of Spain up through the 15th century. As a result, one could more easily see the blue of their veins through their lighter skin. Today, blue blood refers to members of the wealthy upper class. ' Boston s Beacon Hill is the home of many blue bloods.