Posted by Smokey Stover on May 26, 2006
In Reply to: Hold your horses posted by Keshav Shetye on May 26, 2006
: what does phrase denotes " 1) Hold your horses , 2) Pull the string 3)back to back 4) Bottom Line
1. Hold your horses. Search the Archives by going back one page, enter the phrase in the search box at the top of the page. Briefly, "hold your horses" means "wait a bit."
2. Pull the string. Search the Archives. Many references to Chatty Cathy, a doll that talked when you pulled a string. (I believe there were many toys with this feature.)
3. Back to back. As ESC notes, it is an adverbial phrase meaning, usually, without interruption, one ends and the other begins. Television announcers will often proclaim "back to back episodes" of some show, meaning one right after the other.
There is also the literal meaning, with one's back to another's back. In both life and literature, fighters opposing a larger group of opponents may find it useful to stand back to back, so as to afford themselves some mutual protection against attacks from the flank and the rear. You obviously could have two objects of any kind, so long as they had back ends, placed back to back, that is, with the back of one facing the back of the other, like the fighters mentioned above. There are other situations in which people find it useful to stand back to back ("You look this way for him, I'll look the other way.") Odd as it may seem, two people dancing will sometimes dance back to back, usually only briefly.
4. Bottom line. From the Merriam Webster Dictionary Online:
"Main Entry: bottom line
1 a : the essential or salient point : CRUX b : the primary or most important consideration
2 a : the line at the bottom of a financial report that shows the net profit or loss b : financial considerations (as cost or profit or loss) c : the final result".
Meaning 2a is the origin of the other uses of the phrase.