Run of the Mill

Posted by ESC on October 16, 1999

In Reply to: Run of the Mill posted by Terry on October 13, 1999

: : : : What's the origin of this phrase - I can find no reference.

: : : Run of the mill, as in plain not fancy.
: : : I always thought the phrase had to do with some product
: : : being produced in a factory, the "mill",
: : : as opposed to being produced by hand.
: : : The product coming from the mill would be
: : : quite ordinary, one of a thousand, while the
: : : hand-made item would be quite unique,
: : : one of a kind, not the "run of the mill"!!

: : I've also heard "run of mine" in western Pennsylvania, meaning the same as run of the mill, but source???? Anybody know anything about it?

: I can't put my finger on the reference but I recall reading somewhere, a long time ago, that 'milling' was the slang name given to street fights in the newly industrialised towns of England in the 17th/18th century. Could this be the origin of such phrases as 'been through the mill' etc.

The phrase I've heard is, "You look like you've been through the flint mill." Whatever THAT means.