Posted by Marc Rogers on July 17, 2007
My father has done extensive research on origins of phrases. The only one he couldn't find was dead ringer which, having looked at your meanings, I can now explain to him. However, I noted when looking for stinking rich that one person asked if this was due to rich people being buried in church. The answers pooh pooh'd the idea though not giving an actual explanation. I would be interested to find out if you CAN come up with one as that's the one my father has found. The idea was scoffed at because we all tend to shy away from the stench of rotting bodies! You must remember that attendance of church was compulsory in the old days so, when a rich person (the only ones who were given that signal 'honour') was buried inside the church, the other people couldn't avoid the stench as they HAD to attend.