Go to the foot of the stairs

Posted by Gary on December 26, 2004

In Reply to: Go to the foot of the stairs posted by ESC on December 26, 2004

: From one of my newly acquired books:
: (well) I'LL GO TO THE FOOT OF OUR STAIRS! - "An old north England expression of surprise or amazement - meaning presumably, that the short walk to the place mentioned would allow the speaker to recover equanimity. Or perhaps it meant it was time to give up and go to bed! Used by Tommy Handley in BBC Radio's ITMA (1940s) and elsewhere. Said to have been used by the entertainer George Formby as 'Eeh, I'll go to the foot of our stairs', as also, 'Eeh, I'll go to our 'ouse (pronounced 'our rouse')' - Robina Hinton, Suffolk . Chris Littlefair gave this variation from the North-East : 'I'll go to the bottom of our garden.'" From "Oops, Pardon Mrs Arden! An Embarrassment of Domestic Catchphrases" by Nigel Rees (Robson Books, London, 2001) Page 99-100.

: Submitted by viewers/listeners to Mr. Rees on British TV and radio. The dates are when the informants submitted the information to him.

Yes, my mother (90 years and going strong) has used this expression for as long as I can remember. I understand it to be a Birmingham saying though, although that may not conflict with Rees giving it a northen origin. For some reason London folk think the English midlands are in the north.