A coworker and I got to talking last week about popular phrases and their origins. A few of these phrases probably need to be updated. For instance:
* A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This phrase can be traced back to the 1300's, and basically means that it's better to have a small actual advantage than the chance of a greater one. This needs to be freshened up a bit, doesn't it - maybe make it a sports reference ... like, say .... "A field goal is better than no points at all ..." Ok, that one needs work.
* From soup to nuts. This conveys the meaning of "from beginning to end". It basically describes a full course dinner, starting with the "soup," and finishing with the "nuts" as the last course. But who the hell finishes a meal with nuts at this point? Isn't it more common to have ice cream, cake, or pie? Starting with soup is fine, although salad may be even earlier than soup, right? So, I submit we change the phrase to "From salad to cake."
* Take down a peg or two. This means to lower someone's high opinion of themselves. Apparently, one of the origins of this has to do pegs being used to regulate the amount of drink taken from a barrel. How does this even relate to lowering somebody's self opinion? We have an opportunity to blaze trails here (hey, that's another phrase!). Maybe use some modern day comparison, like "getting Spitzered." Just a thought.
* The whole nine yards. We should be familiar with the meaning of this - everything/all. But, in a society that loves football, this seems to be a bit confusing, since you need 10 yards for a first down. The origin of this one is clouded, and new official origin can be determined, although it is most likely military. Sports seems like it could be used again, and I submit a football comparison ... like "The long bomb." There's gotta be a better one.
Anybody have any others, or better suggestions?