Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday WOLF

I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF (oh, how clever is she? She made an acronym out of her agency's name!) Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.

Here's a fun one - ever hear anyone say that if they were wrong about something they'd eat their hat? I personally love that one and use it often, but I never knew where it came from. The first popular use of the phrase is from 1837 in Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers:
"If I knew as little of life as that, I’d eat my hat and swallow the buckle whole.” 
But where does it come from? I found a reference to a pork stew made of mostly the bits of meat that no one would eat otherwise referred to as hatte stew. I'm not positive on this one, but the fact that hats called pork-pie hats became popular in the 1830's makes me wonder if there is in fact a connection there.

Pork > Yucky Stew > Pork Hats > "I'll eat my hat (the yucky bits) if I'm wrong."


mmshaunakelley said...

I've never really thought about where this came from! But now I am intrigued...

Kel said...

An uncertain origin? This sounds like a mystery in need of a quest! (Did the OED fail us?)

Mindy McGinnis said...

I know! I said it the other day, and then I was like... "Wait - what the hell is that?"

Kel - OED is good for first usage sometimes, but it doesn't always have a great origin story. I'll add that the origins on this one do seem murky though.