Following my last post about books I am reading, this item concerns a book called 'Red Herrings & White Elephants' which explains the origin of many of our present day sayings. Here are some of interest:
'Having a Dekko'. Means to have a look and was introduced by troops returning from service in India in the 1800s. Dekko is Hindustani for 'look'.
'Given the sack'. From former times when workmen would travel from job to job carrying their tools in a sack. On being taken on they would hand their sack to their employer for safe keeping until their services were no longer needed whereupon they would be given the sack. If they were dishonest, the sack of tools would be burnt - thus 'Fired'.
'Gone Haywire'. In the early 20th Century in US they introduced a strong metal wire to bind hay bales. When snipped the taut haywire would spring dangerously through the air and be piled in the corner of the yard in a tangled mess.
'Red Herring'. In the early 1800s there were even hunt saboteurs then. They would drag a pungent smoked red/brown herring through the hunt area to lead foxes on a false trail.