Farm, barn, whatever

Posted by R. Berg on October 25, 2005

In Reply to: Born on a farm posted by ESC on October 24, 2005

: : : My friend and I have been arguing about a popular phrase and what it means. What is the source of the phrase, "Born on a farm"?

: : I don't know the source, but here in the UK it is used to rebuke people who don't shut the door - "Hey, were you born on a farm or something?" Which is totally illogical, because most people who were born on farms, and thus are used to having livestock, are instinctively very careful to close gates and doors behind them. (VSD)

: If someone doesn't shut a door, we (W.Va.) say: were you raised in a barn? I guess from opening the barn door and letting the cows out in the morning. Then the door stays open.

In California, people say "Were you born in a barn?" I don't know that the origin pertains to cows specifically. Maybe barns are understood to be drafty and unheated. ~rb