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Two questions

Posted by Holly on April 14, 2004

Two phrases I am curious about:

1. "that's mighty WIDE of you" vs. "that's mighty WHITE of you"...I know that most people think the correct phrase is mighty WHITE. I, however, think it was originally mighty WIDE, but has been changed as so much of our language has been. I realize to say "that's mighty WHITE of you" is considered racist, and I would never use it in that context, but I KNOW I have heard the phrase stated as "mighty WIDE" (said in a sarcastic way that someone is really going out of their way for you or allowing a WIDE BERTH so to speak). Any thoughts?

2. "Nineteen to the dozen"...I had never even heard of this. Is this where we got "ninety to nothing"? They mean the same thing and it sounds like (again) one of those phrases that started out as one thing but got changed as people heard it and THOUGHT they were saying "ninety to nothing" instead of "nineteen to the dozen"....??