P's and Q's and other oddities
Do you ever stop to think about the odd idioms you use every day? Wonder where they came from? (Bet you have some in your family that no body else in the world uses, right? Like to tell us? Add a comment.) I had fun browsing through this "Sayings and Expressions" site, which references the original usage of many of our odd sayings. Consider: someone learning English as a second language must deal with the A thru Z of this site! Groan!
MIND YOUR P'S AND Q'S---Be precise.---"You had better mind your p's and q's."---18th century saying. A tab in the local pub once indicated p (pints) and q (quarts); the publican or drinker could be admonished to keep them straight.---A child learning to read and write may have difficulty with p's and q's.---In the early days of printing the type was set by hand in wooden frames. As the print was set by hand, and backwards, it was easy to mix the two up.---Hannah Cowley (1779). Who's the Dupe? "You must mind your P's and Q's with him, I can tell you."