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W(h)et your whistle

Posted by Graham Cambray on February 06, 2009 at 18:06

In Reply to: W(h)et your whistle posted by Jane Chischilly on February 06, 2009 at 17:06:

: On the phrase,"w(h)et your whistle," I first was told of this by a friend who was writing her master's thesis on gargoyles and grotesques. In her research, she found references of medieval mugs with gargoyle whistles used in taverns in Germany. I have spoken to some German tourists at my craft shows who are familiar with whistle mugs (depending on what region they are from.) I have also heard that when harvesting wheat with a scythe, when sharp, it would whistle as it was swung through the air. When it began to dull, they had to stop and "whet their whistle." I have always trusted the info given me by my thesis-writing friend, though. This was research done in a university library. I could get a copy of her thesis and look up her references. Any comment??

Jane - this is a phrase which Gary Martin (whose site this is) has touched on in a formal entry - albeit under the heading of a similar but different phrase. You may want to have a look at the link below. As Gary has clearly researched this phrase, I'll leave any further response to him. (GC)