In Reply to: Who shot John and who laid the rail posted by ESC on January 13, 2010 at 23:55:
: : 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.'"
[Exploration of "Who shot John" has been going on almost as long as ... well, as the original argument over who shot John. A wide-ranging review, with appearances by some of our favorite usual suspects, can be seen at this web-address: http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17817
[It would seem more foolish than brave at thisd point to attempt to resolve the question once and for all. - Bac.]