Archived answer + a bit more
Posted by James Briggs on December 18, 2004
In Reply to: Archived answer posted by R. Berg on December 18, 2004
: : The phrase, to be at 6's and 7's implies that you are at a loss, or in a state of ineptitude where you cannot reliably take acton, can anyone shed light on where this comes from?
: See link below.
Her's what I found out a while ago.
The saying originates from a situation in 1327 and relates to the Guilds of Tradesmen in the City of London. The Merchant Taylors and the Skinners were founded within a few days of each other, five other Guilds having already received their charters. The age of each Guild dictated its position in the Lord Mayor's procession. The Merchant Taylors and the Skinners argued for fifty years as to which should go sixth in the procession. In the end, Sir Robert Billesden, the current Lord Mayor, decreed that they should take it in turns to go sixth and seventh.
The alternative explanation that the saying has something to do with throwing dice I find much less likely, and far less romantic.