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Ps & Qs and folk etymology



The phrase, "mind your P's and Q's" is variously attributed to pints and
quarts and to the type sorts p and q. I believe that there is no firmly
documented source for either attribution, and that in both case we are
quite likely dealing with folk attributions, ie it sounds right so it must
be right. (In my experience, mind your b's and d's would be equally good
advice.)
        Another folk attribution suggests that POSH is an acronym for
port-outward, starboard-home, the desirable sides of a ship sailing or
steaming between England and India in hot weather--charming but undocumented.
Terry Belanger  :  University Professor  :   University of Virginia
Book Arts Press : 114 Alderman Library : Charlottesville, VA  22903
Tel: 804/924-8851   FAX: 804/924-8824  email: belanger@virginia.edu
            URL: http://poe.acc.virginia.edu/~oldbooks/


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