Posted by Bruce Kahl on June 25, 2001
In Reply to: Living over the brush posted by Tim on June 25, 2001
: I know the meaning but does anyone know it's origin?
The phrase, "living over the brush", used to describe an unmarried couple who live together, originated in the tunnel building days of the 19th Century. If a boy and a girl (usually camp followers from the towns, prostitutes in reality) took a liking to each other then the other men and women would respect them as man and wife. They could not afford a church wedding so, holding hands, they jumped over a brush or broom handle held by two older people. They were then "married" in the eyes of their peers.