As you know, a dead ringer is an exact look-alike for someone or
something. How did this term come about? From the horse
tracks! A "ringer" is a "substituted racehorse". Dishonest
racehorse owners will have a fast racehorse and a slow racehorse, both
of which look exactly alike! In this context, "dead" means abrupt
or exact. So a "dead ringer" is a phenomenal look-alike!
Barrel Politics- This saying has its origins in American
pre-Civil War times and is based upon the practice of distributing salt
pork to slaves from huge barrels. By 1870, five years after the
Civil War, congressmen regularly said that they would dip into the
"pork barrel" to obtain funds for popular projects in their home
Just what the heck does "quid pro quo" mean? It means "this for
that" and comes from Latin. Quid pro quo is a fast favor.
You can also think of it as meaning "something for something", "one
thing for another", etc. The word "quip" is short for "quid pro
quo". Many times you
will hear people say "quip pro quo", but the correct term is "quid pro
This term, popularly used by U.S. Marines, is an abbreviated version of
the term "Semper Fidelis" which in Latin means "always faithful".
someone is "true blue" means that said person is loyal and always
faithful to a person and/or a cause. This expression seems to
have come from more than one source. One theory is that it
originated in the 16th century with Scottish Presbyterians who adopted
blue as their official color. Though they were under constant
persecution for many years, they were loyal to their religious
beliefs. These Presbyterians were called "true blue".
second theory to the origin of "true blue" comes from the British
Navy. When England was ruled by Queen Elizabeth I, the sailors
wore coveralls, while sailing, to protect their uniforms. These
coveralls were a special shade of blue that blended with the blue of
the sea to act as camouflage against potential enemies.