Posted by ESC (USA) on July 06, 2004
In Reply to: Who rattled your cage? posted by Bob on July 06, 2004
: : : : : : What does that and "yank your chain" mean?
: : : : : : Thankx,
: : : : : : Vidhya.
: : : : : From a previous discussion:
: : : : : TAKE IT INTO THE WHEELHOUSE - ".we're going to take it into this administration's supposed wheelhouse." From "Had Enough: A Handbook for Fighting Back" by James Carville with Jeff Nussbaum (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2003) Page 30.
: : : : : : "Right in his wheelhouse" is a common expression in U.S. baseball, though I don't know how old it is, or if it originated as a sports expression.
: : : : : : In baseball, it refers to the location of a pitch that makes it easy to hit for a particular batter.
: : : : : Wheelhouse -- A hitter's power zone. Usually a pitch waist-high and over the heart of the plate.
: : : : : From http://www.delugeonline.com/baseball_lingo.html Accessed March 15, 2004.
: : And Ward said:
: : In business, the expression 'right in his/her wheelhouse' means that the project or the task to be done is right in the middle of the area of competance of the individual. It suggests that there is certainly the capability to do the job --all other things being equal.
: : : : Yanking or jerking someone's chain. My opinion: I believe this phrase comes from jerking a dog's chain which is very disturbing to the dog. Yanking someone's chain is doing something to purposely upset them.
: : : : ("Pulling someone's coat" is alerting him or her to a problem.)
: : : When somebody makes an unwelcome interruption, a sharp reponse is "Who rattled your cage?"
: Jerking a dog's chain is a (strong) signal to stop some behavior, and get back under control. The human extension is similar: when a person in power (employer, for example) feels someone's actions are wrong, inappropirate, destructive, ill-advised, etc., he or she can "jerk the chain" to bring the acton to an immediate stop and re-direction. It may, of course, be the correct or incorrect thing to do, depending on the judgment of the person in power.
Then there's: "Who pulled your string?" Why are you talking? As in the string on a child's talking doll.