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Re: Mind Your Own Bee's Wax

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 02, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Mind Your Own Bee's Wax posted by Smokey Stover on August 02, 2005

: : What does "Mind Your Own Bee's Wax" mean? Used frequently by Frank or O'Riely on TV's "Mash"

: Ancient version of "Mind your own business," popular, I imagine, in the U.S. in the 1920s. SS

There is an absurd story, much repeated on the internet, that 18th-century ladies used to fill in the pockmarks on their faces (this was when smallpox was a common and disfiguring disease)with beeswax, which would melt if the lady sat too near the fire. If someone else warned her about this, she would retort "mind your OWN beeswax!" I mention this story only to say that there isn't a shred of truth in it. Though beeswax was often (and still is) a component of cosmetics of all kinds, it was not used as a pockmark filler in this way. And, as Smokey correctly says, the saying is of 1920s origin, a childish garbling of "mind your own business".