Posted by Bruce Kahl on August 18, 2000
In Reply to: Gone to pot posted by cwm on August 18, 2000
: anybody know the roots of this expression?
: a full-on family dispute has erupted as a result of differing explanations and we are in desperate need of
: some authority to clear it up...many thanks in advance.
An authority? I dont think so!
Around 1542, when the phrase first appeared, "to go to pot" was to be cut up like chunks of meat destined for the stew pot. Such a stew was usually the last stop for the remnants of a once substantial cut of meat or poultry, so "going to pot" made perfect sense as a metaphor for anything, from a national economy to a marriage, that had seen better days. Early uses of the metaphor were usually in the form "go to the pot."