It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...
derspatchel

Mr. Pete: A "tinker's damn", or "tinker's cuss" depending on what part of the world you hear the phrase, is derived from the fact that apparently tinkers, those itinerant menders of pots and pans, were often colorful characters who swore like sailors. They prejoratively roamed the countryside, hither and yon goddammit and repaireded your bustificated metal cookware. Apparently they cussed so much that the words became meaningless to them, just extra punctuation for a sentence.

That's one of the stories behind the phrase, and it seems the most plausible. The second involves some explanation about a piece of equipment called a "dam" to ensure the molten metal they used didn't get away from them, and which was discarded after use and therefore worthless. But that seems to have been created as a more genteel explanation and doesn't try to retcon "cuss" into it.

Thoreau uses the "damn" phrase, even, and that Thoreau, he was a pretty smart guy. (And I don't even mean George K. Thoreau, who indeed is smart, but good ol' Henry D.)

Subscribe

  • Housemoving

    Along with many others, I am in the process of switching journalthings over to Dreamwidth due to the new ToS here at ЛЖ. I won't be deleting the…

  • if you want to end Trump and stuff you gotta sing loud

    This song is called Alice's Restaurant It's about Alice And the restaurant But Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the…

  • o this is an existing place

    It's been a year since I posted anything and over a year since I wrote of anything substantive, but: Hello

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 10 comments

  • Housemoving

    Along with many others, I am in the process of switching journalthings over to Dreamwidth due to the new ToS here at ЛЖ. I won't be deleting the…

  • if you want to end Trump and stuff you gotta sing loud

    This song is called Alice's Restaurant It's about Alice And the restaurant But Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the…

  • o this is an existing place

    It's been a year since I posted anything and over a year since I wrote of anything substantive, but: Hello