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What does it mean when someone says "Mind your Ps and Qs?"

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:13 AM on Jul. 23, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • Mind your own business.. that is just and old way of saying it :)

    Answer by NicholeWalls at 2:16 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Telling you to watch your behavior...

    Answer by mekarevell at 2:21 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I always thought it meant mind your please & thank you's. A way of telling someone to be on their best behavior

    Answer by Nyx7 at 2:41 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • P and q stands for "prime quality."

    Answer by _mimimosley_ at 2:45 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • From an old printer's axiom. Back in the early days of printing presses, each line of text had to be set up one letter at a time. Since the letters in the press were reversed (so they'd print forward), the printmaker (or typographer) needed to be careful not to confuse one letter for the other. Reminding someone to "watch his p's and q's" means to pay attention to the details.

    An alternate meaning for this idiom, and the one most commonly accepted as historical fact, dates back to the Olde English Pubs of yester-year. In order to remind the patrons of how much Ale or Mead they had drunk as the night progressed, the bartender would write on a chalk board (or the like) each (P)int and (Q)uart that had been consumed by each patron. It allowed said patrons to keep up with their tab, and prevented disagreements from happening between bar and patron. The term is actually correctly stated as "'Mind' your p's and q's."

    Answer by KATMommie158 at 2:56 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • CONT.

    In this instance it is considered a warning to not get too drunk to pay your tab. Likewise in today's parlance it is a warning to pay attention to anything in general.

    Answer by KATMommie158 at 2:56 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • It comes from Irish pubs. When the pub goers would get too rowdy, the barkeep would say mind your P's & Q's (pints & quarts). It means pay attention to your own business.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 6:56 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

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