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Posted by Lotg on July 07, 2003

In Reply to: Guinea Pig posted by Shae on July 02, 2003

: : : : To be a guinea pig or an experiment. Where does this phrase originate from? I have an international collegue that I was trying to describe the meaning but didn't know why we used the phrase.

: : : Guinea pigs are small mammals that are sometimes used in experiments.

: : (Initial missing from previous post. Must have hit Return while trying to change R to Rats, on a sudden silly impulse. Rats!)

: We use rats too!!

: Toxicologists use many different animal and plant species to assess the biological and environmental effects of substances. Scientific protocol requires that the results of such tests can be verified by others using the same techniques, materials and test organisms that were used in the original assessment. Guinea pigs are suitable test organisms because they are easily bred in laboratories and test results from different laboratories are, therefore, readily comparable. I don't know for sure, but I suspect guinea pigs were first selected as mammalian test organisms because of their fecundity and their small size. They breed fast and don't cost a lot to feed.

: Enough already!! (Good ol' Oirish expression that is, so it is, so it is!)

::: Enough already is Irish??? I'm astounded. I've always assumed it to be a American Jewish term, given you so often here it in US TV shows, American Jews often end their sentences in 'already'. eg. Alright already, etc. TV has so much to answer for.

Where and when and how in Irish history did this term evolve? And this use in America, is it possible that the Jewish community actually acquired it from the Irish Americans? Or - to all you Americans out there, have I got it wrong, is it not just a Jewish thing, is it in general use, eg. New York, etc.?

That's what I love about this forum, you learn so much stuff, and sometimes, like this, it's by accident.