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Re: How's your father?

Posted by R. Berg on October 16, 2002

In Reply to: And Jacks a fine sausage posted by Jafa on October 15, 2002

: Has anyone heard of the phrase 'and Jacks a fine sausage'? And if you have, do you know what it means?
: Also, does anyone know where the phrase 'How's your father' came from? (I know the meaning)
: Thanks.

No help on the sausage question, but Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases," quotes John Brophy, his coauthor on another book, "Songs and Slang of the British Soldier: 1914-18," on "How's your father?":

When the War [WW1] broke out, the new armies subsisted for a time on what catch phrases the music-halls produced. 'How's your father?' was one of the most popular, turned to all sorts of ribald, ridiculous and heroic uses. This was the last utterance of at least one dandified but efficient subaltern, dying of stomach wounds.