Posted by ESC on March 29, 2002

In Reply to: OED? posted by Barney on March 29, 2002

: : : This is driving me slightly insane, the phrase "I'll have your guts for garters" taken on face value is stomach churning! I would love to know where it came from and the meaning behind it-apart from the obvious!

: : I almost hesitate to mention this because I know what R Berg goes through to bring us snippets of the OED. But I feel duty bound to mention that "Garter" was the word of the day on the OED site a few years ago. I believe it shed some light on this. Sadly I did not save it. I'd do it to save R Berg from having to type it all in.

: : Camel

: : Ps Maybe I could spend the rest of my life collecting the OED words of the day?

: Here you are, a reference: "have someone's guts for garters (humorous): punish someone severely (used in a threat or warning of potential future punishment).

I first heard the expression used by the main character, Louisa Trotter, in "Duchess of Duke Street," a British series set in the Victorian Era. Nice phrase.