Languages are like Pokemon: The more we use them, the more they evolve until we can't even recall the bizarre little things they started out as. Do you know the kinds of cesspools your words were hanging out in before they got into your mouth? We do, and as we've told you before, their backstories tend to be awful as balls.
5"Bang For Your Buck" Used To Be A Cute Slogan For Total Annihilation
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If we had to venture a guess about the origin of "bang for your buck," we'd assume it referred to a prostitute who offered exceptional value.
But It Came From ...
All-out nuclear warfare, possibly by way of Pepsi.
In 1953, the Eisenhower administration had a bit of a problem divorcing the fiscal conservatism of the Republican Party from the Cold War necessity of, well ... eternal war. Their solution was the New Look, a policy of using nuclear weapons in any battle larger than a "brushfire conflict." This strategy would replace expensive soldiers with cheaper atom bombs. Thus, the president -- and the American people -- would get more "bang" for their tax "bucks."
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Every American had to be prepared to survive post-Belarus' diplomat cutting in front of theirs at the UN catering line.
Although Charles Erwin Wilson, the Secretary of Defense at the time, is commonly associated with popularizing the phrase and coining it in the military context, he may not have come up with it himself. Some have pointed out that it bears striking similarity to the 1950s Pepsi slogan "more bounce to the ounce."
It's possible that Wilson took a pop culture cue from the Pepsi ads and adapted their slogan for rampant nuclear warfare. Kind of like how DARPA adapted Nike's "Just Do It" phrase to advocate for chemical warfare. Oh wait, that last bit never happened, because the government stealing a commercial slogan to plug weapons of mass destruction would be fucking insane, wouldn't it?!
4"Sold Down The River" Comes From The Slave Trade
Your office nemesis, Gary from accounting, went ahead and took all the credit for that big project you worked on together. He sure sold you down the river, didn't he? Yes, truly the worst thing ever associated with that phrase is Gary, with his suspenders and his perfect teeth and his family which actually loves him. The jerk.
But It Came From ...
The river being referred to is either the Mississippi or Ohio, and what are being very literally sold down that river are slaves. Getting sold "down the river" wasn't a pretty fate, even for them. They weren't merely going from one plantation to a different one; chances were they'd be en route to the southern parts of Mississippi, which generally had way worse conditions.
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Which, to be fair, is like choosing between anal warts and gangrene dick, but still.
The earliest known written occurrence of the phrase dates back to 1837 in the Ohio Repository, and the practice of selling slaves down the Mississippi is referenced in Uncle Tom's Cabin. It wasn't until the early 20th Century that people started using "sold down the river" more colloquially. "Hey, you know that awful fucking thing our ancestors did? You know, the thing where they took human beings away from their families and friends and sent them to the shittiest parts of the country to work themselves to death? Let's use that phrase to talk about the time fucking Gary cleaned out the break room fridge and threw away our leftovers without asking. Truly, an atrocity worthy of the term."