Quotes Uncovered: Pardon My French
I’m back to inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent research.
How about the expression “pardon my french”? That’s another Larry David-related quotation (George Costanza claimed he invented it). Hope you read this!
The Oxford English Dictionary records “pardon my French” as early as 1936, and the synonymous “excuse my French” back to 1865.
George Costanza also did not invent “yada yada.”
Canada Kid asked:
I was wondering about “head over heels.” The saying doesn’t make sense, because it is used (usually) when someone is falling, and one’s head is always above their heels as they walk, let alone fall.
You’re completely right. The original expression was the more logical “heels over head.” “Head over heels” is a corruption of “heels over head.”
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?