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Re: The Bee's Knees

Posted by ESC on January 03, 2003

In Reply to: Re: The Bee's Knees posted by Silver Surfer on January 03, 2003

: : The Phrase Finder has this as a reference to the goodness found in bees' legs....but isn't it just an expansion of 'The Business'?

: No.

From the archives under "bee's":

All I know is that it was one in a series: BEE'S KNEES --"For 'great' (in the 20s) we have: the cat's pajamas, remarkable, first used around 1920, when pajamas were still somewhat shockingly new...similar expressions...the duck's quack, 1920; the bee's knees, the clam's garters, the elephant's wrist, the eel's ankles, the gnat's elbow, all 1923 the elephant's arches and the sardine's whiskers, both 1924; the bullfrog's beard, the cuckoo's chin, the leopard's stripes, the pig's wings, the snake's hips, and the tiger's spots, all 1925." From "Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past"" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982).