Fifty million Frenchmen; bat out of hell

Posted by R. Berg on September 25, 2001

In Reply to: A thousand Frenchmen posted by Karen on September 25, 2001

: Could some one please tell me the origin of the phrase ' a thousand frenchmen can't be wrong '. One individual says this dates back to WWI, but, couldn't explain the meaning.
: Also could some one tell me where the phrase "like a bat out of Hell" came from.

For "bat out of hell," visit the Word Detective at the link below.

Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day quotes Prof. John W. Clark on "Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong": "The last line (and, I think, title) of a popular song of WW1, extolling the supreme virtue of copulation, though in veiled terms."