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This has been a million $ question tonight....

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The other day I said to my son, speaking about things in general,
"people will be minding their "p's and q's" ....or something to that effect!
He looked at me and said, "where did you get that saying from? and what are your "p's and q's" ??? Well after going over in my mind, what they were or at least suppose to be, I couldn't tell him what they stood for! or for that matter what that meant! So does this have a definite definition? I guess I had understood it as "minding your manners" or "minding your own business"
What do you all think?
Monique
post #2 of 12
Ahhh I dont know what that means either and I use it too! OH NO!!
post #3 of 12
I found this on the Urban Dictionary

<<This axiom, regardless of its origins, has been common in post-victorian Britain as an abbreviation of 'to mind your manners' or, more specifically, to say both 'please' (p's) and 'thankyou' (thank-Q).
Thus the phrase 'watch your p's and q's' has been in use to encourage people to speak politely, especially children, who remember such phrases better than just instructions.>>
post #4 of 12
That makes sence!
post #5 of 12
i have always seen it , linked to the old days of the british navy.
it was ment to remind the seamen to mind how much they drank.

as in Pints and Quarts.
back in there days you got a ration of rum or beer.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
i have always seen it , linked to the old days of the british navy.
it was ment to remind the seamen to mind how much they drank.

as in Pints and Quarts.
back in there days you got a ration of rum or beer.
True, there are other origin stories for it... such as in old printing press days, telling the typesetter to 'mind their P's and Q's' but in terms of how we use it, as in manners, the snippet I found was the most logical... the others are listed on the same page...

Amanda
post #7 of 12
Ahhh theres more than one meaning to it??
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
Ahhh theres more than one meaning to it??
Yes... in the link I gave in my first post, it has all the presumed meanings... but that one is the main one for manners...

1. Printing Press
2. Please and Thank (Q)You
3. Pints and Quarts (drinking and sailors)
then there are two more listed on there...
4. Paper Money and Measurement of Drugs (I assume from a rap song)... no, I have no clue about this one... but it's listed.
5. Priorities and Qualities (also a somewhat questionable origin, but hey... it's the 'net, right?)

There's also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ps_and_Qs

http://www.idiomsite.com/psandqs.htm

Internet Search Queen title is safe with me... heh heh heh...
post #9 of 12
OMG there are a bunch!! I think I like priorities and qualities the best, and the please and thank you!

Im not so good at the internet search thing, I always get something besides what Im looking for and it frustrates me to no end!
post #10 of 12
the only other one of those i have ever come accross was Printing Press.

But to me the only one that made since, was the prints and quarts.
which came to mean mind your manners. cause of you know getting drunk you kinda forget those.

lol i guess until someone invents a time machine we will never know how it came about lol but the guessing is fun
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Amanda! and everyone else too~ I thought that was what it meant!
I haven't had time to google it~ I am always popping off these kind of
things infront of my son, and he gets such a kick out of it! I think the one I used recently also was... "Flatter than a Flitter" I was talking about someones
chest.... well he just about fell out!! his mouth dropped open, his eyes
got really big, then he busted out laughing and repeated it ! He said,
" There you go again with those sayings!!" and this is our favorite... whenever we were going home, we had gotten behind an old car, puttin'
along so slow...... I said, 'Oh Pull It Over, and Put A House Number on it!"
He was like 'WHATTTTT????????" I could go on and on...
Monique
post #12 of 12
Haha Monique thats so funny! Im going to have to use that "Oh pull over and put a house number on it" one, because around here we have whats called "sunday driving" which means on sunday, alot of people drive incredibly slow for whatever reason! Its awfull sometimes!
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