Posted by Harold on November 09, 2003
In Reply to: Re: Pick your brains posted by Bob on November 09, 2003
: : A couple of days ago I told a client that I wanted to pick his brains. He proceeded to ask me how I planned to do that. Seemed an odd question, but he went on to tell me how the term evolved. It was rather gruesome. He said that it comes from when Egyptians mummified bodies, as well as pulling out all the other internal organs, they would pull (or pick) their brains out (and I'm not describing how, because you might be eating).
: : Was this guy having a lend of me or was he fair dinkum?
: He was absolutely correct - assuming these were ancient Egyptians who spoke English.
It is a reasonable assumption that most ancient Egyptians would have difficulty with some modern English idioms and might baulk at the notion that their religious ceremonies where cited as the origin of such a common English phrase - they were classier than that.