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Re: Mind your p's and q's

Posted by Gary Martin on November 30, 2008 at 17:57

In Reply to: Mind your p's and q's posted by James De'Ath on November 30, 2008 at 17:54:

: I recently met a student of the Irish language who told me of two distinct types of Gaelic (Gallic)dialects spoken in Ireland, which are colloqially referred to as "P" and "Q". When we think about language use as a social marker, it struck me that there would be a fair amount of importance attached to the choice of one's use of a dialect. Has anyone else considered that this might be the origin of the English phrase "Mind your p's and q's"?

I've researched this phrase in the past and haven't come across that version of the proposed origin before. The fact that it is a little known suggestion counts against it being correct. If it were correct, surely we would have heard of it sooner.