The Logic of Logos and Catchphrases

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Catchphrases can be described as a phrase that attracts or is meant to attract attention; a phrase, as a slogan, that comes to be widely and repeatedly used, often with little of the original meaning remaining. Some sayings are now so commonplace we’ll say them but have no idea where they came from. Did you ever wonder how some popular catchphrases came about? Here are a few examples of how and where the catchphrase originally originated.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

The earliest recording of this phrase dates back to 1866 in England. Originally it read, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” In later years it was translated to the latter.

Cool as a Cucumber
This phrase actually first appeared in John Gay’s Poem, “New Song on New Similes,” in 1732, I…….. Cool as a cucumber could see the rest of womankind.” Describes someone as relaxed, calm, and unemotional. On a hot day, cucumbers tend to remain cool on the inside.

Bring Home the Bacon
This phrase is attributed to the story of Dunmow Flitch. In 1104, a couple in Great Dunmow, Essex, impressed the Prior of Little Dunmow so much with their love and devotion that he awarded them a side of bacon. The meaning according to today’s standards suggests: To earn money, particularly for one’s family, to be successful, especially financially successful.

Basket Case
Originally this term was used by the U.S. Military after WWI referring to soldiers who lost arms and legs and had to be carried by others.

Frog in the Throat
The earliest use of this name for a sore throat was actually supposed to be a cure. In 1894, the Taylor Brothers advertised a medicine called “Frog in the Throat” that was guaranteed to cure hoarseness for only 10 cents a box. How many times has someone said to you, “What do you have a frog in your throat?”

Cut of Your Jib
Sir Walter Scott brought this phrase into common use in 1824, but what actually is
a jib? It’s a triangular sail used on sailing ships to determine course and speed and
as each country has its own style of jib, the cut of your jib determines where a boat
originates. Saying that you like the cut of someone’s jib is a way of saying, I like the way you’re heading or I like your style. I agree with you.

State of Affairs
If you refer to a particular state of affairs, you mean the general situation and circumstances connected with someone or something. Example, “Now that’s a sorry state of affairs.”

Get the sack
This slang term for getting fired originated in France and alludes to tradesmen who would take their own bag or sac of tools with them when dismissed from employment.