Print

Print


On Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:56:13 -0700, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 12:42 PM, Paul Kershaw <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Agreed. I often say things like, "Well, I live in a glass house on this
one" and "Mr. Pot? There's a Mr. Kettle on line 2." I would certainly
understand "The bucket has been kicked." In all cases, though, I do feel
like it's a humorous reference to the base idiom rather than any actual
grammatical flexibility. A bit of a puzzle as to why "a little dog's hair"
more obscures the original idiom than "now pull the other one" does.
>
>Part of it may be that "hair of the dog" is short for "hair of the dog
>that bit you" (meaning, more alcohol to mask the unpleasant effects of
>alcohol consumed earlier), and "the dog that bit you's hair" is damned
>awkward. Of course, for that explanation to work you have to assume
>that everybody using the phrase knows that there's "supposed to be" a
>complement there, which seems dubious.

Right.  Before now I hadn't actually made the mental connection between
"you're pulling my leg" and "pull the other one(, it's got bells on)", maybe
'cause I think the latter's only in my passive lexicon.  

Is there actually a diachronic relationship here?  Wiktionary says yea;
Urban Dictionary says nay, "pull the other one" should rather be taken to
relate to "pull my finger".  And there's a variant out there with "ring"
instead of "pull":
  http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/12/messages/660.html

Alex