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Between you me and the gatepost

Posted by Pamela on October 27, 2007

In Reply to: Between you me and the gatepost posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 26, 2007

: : : : Please can you tell me where the phrase "Between you me and the gatepost" comes from? My friend Laura's Grandma Jean says it all the time and we are wondering if it is one of Jean's special sayings or not.

: : : : P.S This is my first visit to your site which has been great fun. Thank You.

: : : The phrase is more often used humorously and contrary to fact, but it literally means, "I'm telling this to you only, here where there is no one to overhear us." The gatepost may get into it by association with another old phrase, "deaf as a post", meaning perfectly and absolutely deaf --- which is also, often, (and like "blind as a bat"), meant humorously and contrary to fact.

: : Grandma Jean didn't make it up. It's been around a long time. The version I used to hear substituted "lamppost" for "gatepost." ~rb

: There's also a version using "bedpost". In all versions the post, of whatever kind, is anthropomorphised into a third listener. (VSD)

If you search on "between you, me and the" you will get lamppost, gateposts, garden post and bedpost as well as garden gate, four walls and others. Journalists also modify the last bit to fit in with what they are writing about (e.g. "fire hydrant" = homeless people and "water cooler" = for the office). Also, there are internet jokes like "between you me and the hackers" or "the blogosphere". "Gatepost" was the version I'd heard. Pamela