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What does this expression mean?

Posted by James Briggs on April 23, 2003

In Reply to: What does this expression mean? posted by Ben McDevitt on April 23, 2003

: I have heard a phrase several times on British TV shows which I cannot figure out. It is usually said in the context of a character reacting to a surprising piece of news given to him or her by another character. The phrase is:

: "Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs!"

: I cannot for the life of me work out what walking over to the bottom of a staircase has to do with being surprised. Any idea?

: Even if not, thank you! I've learnt some very interesting facts from this forum.

It's made-up saying, used mainly in the north of England and meant to express surprise at an event. I has no real relationship to stairs, or anything else as far as I know. There are other examples of this type of saying, such as 'I'll be blowed'. 'You could knock me over with a feather'. Some can be 'translated' into real life but others can't. 'Stairs' is one of the latter.