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I can't, I've got a bone in my leg

Posted by Lewis on November 23, 2006

In Reply to: I can't, I've got a bone in my leg posted by pamela on November 17, 2006

: : : : 70 years ago whenever I wanted to stir my grandfather into unwelcome activity he would say. "I can't, I've got a bone in my leg" which was strictly true and enough to satisfy a little boy. Using the same phrase to my own grandchildren, the family claim to have never heard of it. I'm sure this phrase is established in English phraseology. Can you confirm this?

: : : It was certainly commonplace in the English Midlands in the 1950s. I can't recall hearing it since leaving school at the end of the 60s.

: :
: : My Mother still uses it, but she is the only person I know who does.

: : DFG

: Not the origin, but I see from google that it occured in "The Awakening of Helena Richie" by Margaret Deland 1906 - "David," said Dr. Lavendar, "I've got a bone in my leg; so you run and get me a clean pocket-handkerchief."

My grandparents definitely used it - particularly my grandfather (born 1912) - to a child it sounds like a sensible adult explanation. only when you get older do you realise that you are being 'had'.