Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Bees Knees

The pressure's on. I just realized that there are people I don't even know reading this blog. Now I feel it necessary to either say something clever, funny, or profound with each entry.

Either that or teach something completely arbitrary like how the phrase BEES KNEES came into existence. I just used this phrase today and thought… huh… that’s a strange phrase.

Actually, the origin is debatable, but here are some of the most popular theories:

-The bee's knees may be a humorous pronunciation of "business."

-"The Bee's Knee" is a term indicating excellence -the highest quality. Because bees carry pollen back to the hive in sacs on their legs. The allusion is to the concentrated goodness to be found around the bee's knee.

-The bee's knees is a development from something that was originally stated as "The be all and the end all of everything." This being rather long, was shortened to "the B's and E's" which eventually became "the bee's knees"

AND, my personal favourite:

-On a bee, knees are strictly a luxury. The phrase originated in 1920s
U.S. slang, which had a whole slew of such phrases: "the eel's ankle", "the flea's eyebrows", "the clam's garter", "the snake's hips", "the elephant's instep", "the kipper's knickers", "the cat's pajamas", "the canary's tusks", "the sardine's whiskers". The fact that "the bee's knees" rhymes may have assisted its survival.


I SO want to bring back some of those old phrases. Won’t you help me? I love the SNAKE’S HIPS, FLEA’S EYEBROWS, and THE EEL’S ANKLE. We could even make up our own... the octopus' birkenstocks?

How about the writer’s sleep? That’s a luxury.

1 comment:

PoeTrix said...

the frog's umbrella?