Not only did people in the nineteenth century use words that have fallen into obscurity, but there are also phrases and ''sayings'' that have gone by the wayside, too. There is a modern day phrase or saying right there: gone by the wayside. I didn't even intend to use one in that sentence, it just happened. That's the thing about these phrases and sayings. We all use them regularly and we don't even realize it. People in the nineteenth century did the same thing. Lets check out some interesting obscure phrases and sayings that I've unearthed. This first one is my favorite!
1. Acknowledge the corn : to admit the truth, to confess, to face one's own lie[s] or shortcoming[s].
A. I suggest that you spot crying and acknowledge the corn before it's too late!
2. Biggest toad in the puddle : the most important person in a group, room or place, an important person.
A. He walked around that hall like he was the biggest toad in the puddle!
3. [Not] born in the woods to scared by an owl : one who is experienced and not afraid.
A. That lawyer I met was not born in the woods to be scared by an owl!
4. Elephant, to see the : to have seen, heard or experienced it all.
A. When she walked into the party with that Negro on her arm I saw the elephant!
5. Go the whole hog : to go all the way.
A. If ladies are going to wear those bloomers they might as well go the whole hog and wear inexpressibles, too!
6. Nigger in the woodpile : to explain an unsolved mystery or something missing.
A. After she left and my my food came up missing I knew there was a nigger in the woodpile.
7. Pile on the agony : to add insult to injury.
A. I piled on the agony until he burst into tears!
8. Post the pony : pay up
A. You might as well post the pony before I call the authorities.
9. Seven by nine : someone or something of inferior or common quality.
A. She was just a seven by nine trying to pass as refined and cultured.