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Who shot John and who laid the rail

Posted by ESC on January 13, 2010 at 23:55

In Reply to: Who shot John and who laid the rail posted by Mike Chason on January 11, 2010 at 18:13:

: My mother has said this expression for years, as well as my grandmother too. What is the origin of the expression "who shot John and who laid the rail"?

: I hope someone knows!

I'll check my books and see if there is an origin listed. What I can tell you is that I first heard, "He has been mayor since 'who laid the rail,'" meaning a long time, when I came to Kentucky. "Who shot John" I heard on a movie and took it to mean an old argument. "Don't start that 'Who shot John.'"