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BS: Did you ever wonder

30 Aug 03 - 01:08 AM (#1010628)
Subject: BS: Did you ever wonder
From: Amergin

Did you ever wonder where the term "Falling off the wagon" came from? Well, wonder no longer...

Many many years ago there was a farmer named Thom Kin who had twenty bundles of joy running around his place ten boys and ten girls. Since he had a pretty good sized plot of land they would all help out with the daily chores and he had enough food (even after the taxman came around) to feed them all and trade for other goods on Market day.

Market Day was the only time he would go into town. He would load up the wagon with all the goods he wanted to trade off, but since there was so much stuff in the wagon...and 20 kids there was only room in the wagon for Thom Kin and his wife. So he would line the boys and girls on each side of the waggon, ranging from biggest to smallest and they would pull the wagon into town.

Well, Thom kin was not above letting the womenfolk trade the goods while he went into the local pub with the other farmers to discuss the farming busniness and gossip about who had a new kid and who died and who's cow got sick and who got bit by a spider, and whatever else farmers have to gossip about. At the end of the day he would be seen staggering out of the local and back to where his wagon was. The biggest of the kids would have to help him into the wagon, somtimes three or four times before he was finally settled in.

Unfortunately, he rarely stayed there. It was a common sight to see him stand up and singing at the top of his slurring lungs, and then falling off the wagon. The other farmers and townsfolk would just chuckle and say "Old Thom Kin's fallen off the wagon again."

Now you know.

30 Aug 03 - 05:15 AM (#1010680)
Subject: RE: BS: Did you ever wonder

"The original version of this expression 'on the water wagon' or 'water cart,' which isn't heard anymore, best explains the phrase. During the late 19th century, water carts drawn by horses wet down dusty roads in the summer. At the height of the Prohibition crusade in the 1890s men who vowed to stop drinking would say that they were thirsty indeed but would rather climb aboard the water cart to get a drink than break their pledges. From this sentiment came the expression 'I'm on the water cart,' I'm trying to stop drinking, which is first recorded in, of all places, Alice Caldwell Rice's 'Mrs. Wiggs of the Caggage Patch' (1901), where the consumptive Mr. Dick says it to old Mrs. Wiggs. The more alliterative 'wagon' soon replaced cart in the expression and it was eventually shortened to 'on the wagon.' 'Fall off the (water) wagon' made its entry into the language almost immediately after its abstinent sister."

From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson

30 Aug 03 - 11:58 AM (#1010785)
Subject: origins: falling off wagon, riding water wagon
From: wysiwyg

Good work folks!

Note change of subject line to make searches easier, later.


02 Sep 03 - 01:53 AM (#1010982)
Subject: RE: BS: Did you ever wonder
From: Amergin

that's ok...i made my story up anyways.... ;)

02 Sep 03 - 09:07 AM (#1011154)
Subject: RE: BS: Did you ever wonder
From: Rapparee

All the good stories are made up. Sometimes I think that all of history is made up.

02 Sep 03 - 09:15 AM (#1011159)
Subject: Off the Wagon
From: GUEST,MMario

I like 'gin's version better...

02 Sep 03 - 12:06 PM (#1011276)
Subject: RE: BS: Did you ever wonder
From: Liz the Squeak

I think I prefer the dusty road!

LTS - who has rediscovered the joys of beer.

02 Sep 03 - 07:50 PM (#1011658)
Subject: RE: BS: Did you ever wonder
From: LadyJean

I'm still cleaning up from the S.C.A.'s Pensic war in August, where a water wagon goes down the roads (When it isn't raining.) to damp down the dust. I don't drink at Pensic. Alcohol and antihistimines don't go well together. But I'll stay off the water wagon too, thank you.