Pat Shingleton Column

"Mind Your P's and...Q's"

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Posted: Feb 1, 2013 6:50 PM by Pat Shingleton

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In the "early" days, local taverns and public houses or pubs provided lodging, food and drink from inclement weather. Libations were originally a convenient means of combating the winter chill and a "wee nip" could break the bone-chilling cold. For politicians a journey was tedious and they would utilize their assistants to gauge the opinions of their constituents. These assistants were instructed to "sip some ale" and hear the people's political concerns. When they would "go sip here" and "go sip there" the two words were combined, forming the term "gossip." Ale would be served in pints and quarts. A bar maid needed to be diligent as to which patrons were drinking a pint or a quart. This duty resulted in the phrase, "minding your ‘P's' and ‘Q's."

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