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Under the weather; another origin

Posted by ESC on October 13, 2000

In Reply to: Under the weather; another origin posted by James Briggs on October 12, 2000

: : : : need to know the origins of over the moon, taken for a ride&
: : : : under the weather

: : : UNDER THE WEATHER - "Ik Marvel, a pseudonym that resulted from a misprinting of J.K. Marvel, was the pen name of American author Donald Grant Mitchell. In his 'Reveries of a Bachelor' Ik Marvel is the first to record 'under the weather,' which has been a synonym for everything from 'ill and indisposed' to 'financially embarrassed' and 'drunk,' and has even been a synonym for 'the discomfort accompanying menstruation." From Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

: : TO TAKE FOR A RIDE - "This may be jocular or serious; one is sometimes taken for a ride when he suffers nothing more severe than being kidded, made the butt of some joke. But in a sinister and the original sense the person taken for the ride rarely returns. The expression was of underworld origin, coined in the United States during the wave of criminality after World War, when rival gangs of law-breakers waged warfare on each other. Anyone incurring the displeasure of a gang chieftain was likely to be invited by a henchman to go for a ride in the car of the latter, ostensibly to talk matters over and clear up the misunderstanding. The victim rarely returned from such a trip; his body might later be found by the police - or might not." From A Hog on Ice (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk.

: : Anyone have any ideas on "over the moon"?

: To be under the weather is to be unwell. This comes again from a maritime source. In the old days, when a sailor was unwell, he was sent down below to help his recovery, under the deck and away from the weather.

You're right, that explanation sounds better. Here's a similar one I found: "Under the weather. To feel ill. Originally it meant to feel seasick or to be adversely affected by bad weather. The term is correctly 'under the weather bow' which is a gloomy prospect; the weather bow is the side upon which all the rotten weather is blowing." From "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983).

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