Posted by Lewis on February 18, 2005
In Reply to: Origin of the expression "If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you" posted by Kelly on February 18, 2005
: trying to find this expression and it's origins for a friend. "If you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you" or ..."I've got a bridge for sale."
: We believe its regarding the Brooklyn Bridge, but can't come up with a date of first usage.
: any help would be appreciated.
Back in the 1970s, conmen went in for scams selling London bridges - usually they would pretend to have authority to sell Tower Bridge. To cap it all, some American did actually buy the original London Bridge - which wasn't particularly attractive, but IMO culturally wrong to do.
it is almost as bad as selling the Ponte Vecchio in Florence would be.
thank goodness for the decency of a German WWII officer who defied orders telling him to blow it up. also happened in Paris, from what I recall.
anyhow, only an idiot would be taken in by a conman selling a land-mark - hence the expression about selling somebody a bridge.