Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 21, 2006
In Reply to: : "...polish the cannon balls." posted by David FG on June 21, 2006
: : : "...polish the cannon balls." Where did the phrase 'no need to polish the cannon balls' come from. I have heard it used to indicate over preparation.
: It's not a phrase I am familiar with, but I assume it comes from the fact that polishing cannon balls is a rather pointless activity: adding a needless refinement.
In the British Army it was traditional to whitewash the coal before an important inspection. (VSD)