Posted by Bruce Kahl on February 21, 2000
In Reply to: 'Daft as a Brush' posted by Barry on February 21, 2000
: This much used phrase - UK middle aged population at least - means (to me) silly beyond understanding. What are its origins?
I found an explanation which I think is a maybe---the Victorian
It seems that children were first used as sweeps since the skilled child was small and could easily work his way vertically through the confined space, clearing blockages and removing the build up of soot by hand.
While in training the apprentice was sometimes dropped head first down the chimney which caused severe cerebral damage. Hence the phrase.