Posted by George on February 16, 2003
The origin of the phrase, "Keep your nose to the grindstone," was quoted in The Phrase Finder as, "In Victorian England, notably in Sheffield, The Phrase Finders's hometown, there were many knife grinder's workshops. Workers lay flat on their fronts and held the blades against grindstones." But a milling historian at the Bale Historic Mill in Napa, California claims the phrase comes from grain millers who needed to smell the freshly ground grain to tell if the friction was causing the grain to burn. Any comments?