Cost an arm and a leg
Posted by R. Berg on April 10, 2002
In Reply to: Cost an arm and a leg posted by Bob on April 09, 2002
: : Can anyone please tell me where this phrase "Costs an arm and a leg" comes from? Not the menaing of it but where it originates. Thanks
: Aprevious posting has some speculation:
: www.phrases.org.uk bulletin_board 5 messages 1365.html
Eric Partridge, Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day says this phrase comes from the U.S. and that its probable origin is another phrase, "if it takes a leg!" About the latter phrase, he says "'Threat of a desperado, in search of revenge' (George P. Burnham, 'Memoirs of the United States Secret Service,' 1872): US underworld: c. 1850-1910. Even at the cost of a leg."
- Cost an arm and a leg ESC 04/10/02