Now You Know

Where did the phrase spin doctor come from?

The term spin doctor first appeared in the New York Times during Ronald
Reagan’s campaign for re-election in 1984. “Spin” is the twist given a
baseball by a pitcher throwing a curveball to deceive the batter, while a
“doctor” is someone who fixes a problem. Therefore, a “spin doctor” is
someone who, faced with a political problem, solves it by putting a twist
on the information to bend the story to his or her own advantage

Why do we say that healing a relationship is “mending fences”?

In 1880, the strong-willed senator John Sherman was testing the water
for a presidential nomination. He slipped out of Washington but was
followed to his Ohio farm by a reporter who found the senator talking
with a high-ranking party official while standing near a fence. When
the reporter asked what they were doing, the response, “We’re mending
fences,” gave him his headline, and it became a new phrase for
healing relationships.

Why when someone tells a secret do we say he’s “spilled the beans”?

As a system of voting, the ancient Greeks placed beans in a jar. They
called these small beans or balls “ballota,” which gives us the word ballot.
A white bean was a “yes” and a brown bean was a “no.” The beans
were then counted in secret so the candidates wouldn’t know who
voted for or against them. If the container was knocked over, and the
beans were spilled, the secret was out of the jar.

Why did Abraham Lincoln’s son withdraw from politics?

In 1865, Robert Lincoln rushed to his father’s deathbed. Sixteen years
later, as Garfield’s secretary of war, he was with that president when he
was shot by an assassin. In 1901, Robert arrived in Buffalo for the
American Exposition just in time to see President McKinley murdered.
After that, Robert Lincoln vowed never again to be in the presence of
an American president.

Why is the Irish gift of the gab called “blarney”?

Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland, is supposed
to transfer the gift of gab to the kisser, but the idea that the word
blarney meant a smooth talker came from the mouth of Elizabeth I of
England in 1602. She had insisted that Dermot McCarthy surrender
Blarney Castle as proof of his loyalty, but he kept coming up with
excuses — so many excuses, in fact, that the Queen once exclaimed in
exasperation, “Odds Bodkins, more Blarney talk!”

From The Book Titled "Now You Know" by Doug Lennox