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Too Clever by Half

Posted by James Briggs on October 11, 2006

In Reply to: Too Clever by Half posted by Bob on October 10, 2006

: : : : : : origin three shakes of a lambs tail

: : : : : Literally that. Three shakes of a lamb's tail can happen very quickly, hence the analogy. Quite a common phrase in the UK. Must be 100s of years old and based on simple observation. Used to describe something happening quickly, usually the time elapsing before a task is completed.

: : : : The U.S. version is "two shakes of a lamb's tail." Why the difference? Unless we have slower lambs over here, you can blame exchange rates. ~rb

: : : My knowledge of Econ is deep,
: : : The rate that you quote is too steep.
: : : The dollar, I've found
: : : Is two to the pound.
: : : Not 3-to-2 shakes, as in sheep.

: : These ratios of shillings to dimes,
: : Historically, change with the times.
: : So my math's obsolete?
: : I, reduced to a bleat,
: : Maintain it's the least of all crimes. ~rb

: The rates fluctuate, what to do?
: Hindsight will tell us what's true.
: We just can't know nuttin'
: Til lamb turns to mutton,
: The fault is the clock, and not ewe.

Oh thee, Oh thee of little faith,
It matters not how many a shake.
Two, or three have equal weight.
Although, I must admit,
Two is the most oft that's spake.