"cost an arm and a leg"
gcohen at UMR.EDU
Wed Apr 5 01:30:52 UTC 2000
Today I received the following query from _The Readers Digest_:
>... we are looking for the origin of the phrase "that will cost you an arm
>and a leg." Do you have any suggestions on where we might look to find this
>answer? Any books you could suggest?
What comes to mind here is that the physical cost of combat (loss of
an arm and a leg, i.e. a huge loss) is transferred to the context of a
In this connection, cf. "pay through the nose," which apparently first
referred to being clobbered in the face (with blood flowing freely from the
nose) and was then transferred to the context of a monetary cost.
Would anyone have any additional information or insight to pass along?
gcohen at umr.edu
More information about the Ads-l