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America's Secret Slang

Have you watched this show on the History Channel? I tuned in for the first time tonight and found it fascinating. It's all about how common American idioms got their start.

Hogwash was the nasty waste water left after rinsing down hogs so they could be loaded on riverboats to be shipped down the Mississippi to market. Now it's what the trolls spew out on CM.

Originally, the "grape vine" was what miners in California called the telegraph, whose wires were often installed so quickly that they were draped haphazardly over trees and bushes, looking like tangled grape vines, instead of strung neatly on poles.

If you were over a barrel, it meant that you had almost drowned by falling off a steamboat and someone had fished you out of the river and laid you over a keg to drain the water out of you.


Asked by Ballad at 1:32 AM on Aug. 4, 2013 in Just for Fun

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Answers (5)
  • I hadn't heard of it, but it is the kind of thing I like so I'll look for it. Thank you.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:13 AM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • I haven't heard of it but I'll have to check it out! Thanks!

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 1:49 AM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Never heard of it, but it sounds interesting!!!

    Answer by PandaGwen at 8:23 AM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Ive seen that show- once or twice. Pretty interesting!

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 8:52 AM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • I have watched this show in the past w/ hubby. We also like to watch "How The States Got Their Shapes" (also on History Channel) & Mind Games in Natl. Geographic. When I'm not watching my comedies, I do like to learn stuff from time to time :p

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 8:51 AM on Aug. 4, 2013