Thursday, August 6, 2009

An arm and a leg

Lucky returns to her room in the cottage and while looking around in the Yellow pages, is distracted by a jewellery box on the bedside table. Opening it, she finds a slender platinum ring set with a gaudy heart shaped diamon surrounded by smaller, glittering rubies arranged along its edges..
When her hostess Susan comes in, she tries to slip it on but finds the ring too small for her. She advises Lucky to get a safe-deposit box. When Lucky asks her why she replies :
"This will cost you an arm and a leg to insure".( P.30)

How strange is it that this morning, I get a mail message about how this expression came about. I would like to share it with you.

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington 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, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

How far fetched do you think this story is? Well, it makes for a good read at any rate!

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