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
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
Why did Abraham Lincoln’s son withdraw from
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
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
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
From The Book Titled "Now You Know"
by Doug Lennox