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"a live one"

Posted by Lewis on June 16, 2003

In Reply to: "A live one" posted by Moe on June 15, 2003

: Some people say, to their friend or co-worker, "we've got a live one" when confronted by a peculiar person. Where does the expression "a live one" come from, and any guess as to what was referred to originally?

Two sensible guesses - the military - munitions are either 'live' or 'dead' and on the battlefield, there used to be truces part-way through battle to recover the bodies or the wounded - I would expect that when inspecting the "corpses" one would find a live one now and again and a cry would go up to rush the nearly departed to the field hospital.

The second sensible suggestion is fishing - finding a live one when you are about to gut it would be a surprise. for some reason, I think of eels...