Posted by Smokey Stover on December 17, 2006
In Reply to: Trust him as far as I can throw him posted by jane on December 17, 2006
: Origin of "trust him as far as I can throw him"
It's an answer to the question, "How far do you trust this fellow?" Answer: "I trust him as far as I can throw him." Since even a strong man can scarcely throw another full-grown man any further than straight down, the answer is tantamount to "I don't trust him at all." Who first said this? I imagine that that is lost in the mists of time--but not very much time, as I imagine the expression is not much more than a century old, if that.
If you search the expression in Google, you will discover something very odd. A large proportion of those using the expression use it incorrectly, as "I DON'T trust him as far as I can throw him," thus depriving the sentence both of meaning and of the sardonic wit that inspired it.