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Old 06-20-2003, 12:47 AM
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how many ways to sunday?

i have heard the expression "six ways to sunday" (for example) about a million times, and i have heard it used with the numbers ranging from 3 to 8, eg., "eight ways to sunday" etc. i've even heard with the "from" instead of "to".

when i ask people what that saying means, they ALL say "dunno". i then assume by the "dunno" that they can't defend the number they're using either.

can anyone bring me into the light on this one? i'd like to start using - once in a while - this saying, but i refuse to do so until i know what the heck it means. and what number i should use!

thanks gang,

jetwrap.
Old 06-20-2003, 01:01 AM
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Re: how many ways to sunday?

First Google search Revealed (bottom of the page)

Quote:
Phrase: "He was beat six ways from Sunday."

Place of Origin: Rome

Explanation: Until recent times, Catholicism was all the rage. Disbelievers, or heretics, had a rough time of it. So rough, in fact, that the Pope sent out orders to every Archbishop in the land to beat the devil out of the person who showed up last to services each Sunday. The poor sap was beaten Monday through Saturday of the following week, each day with a different instrument: Stout Mace, Iron-tipped Boot, Broad Sword (flat edge, not the sharp edge), Wide Belt, Stones, Ice (winter) or Cabbage (summer). Although this practice was abandoned in 1982, memories remain strong, especially amongst the wretched. And so it came to pass that the phrase "beat six ways from Sunday" was used to describe someone who was beaten.
Google is your friend.

-LC
Old 06-20-2003, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Fascinating detail for an etymology for which there is absolutely no proof. And Melanie was raised Catholic - she'd have heard of such a practice if it wasn't abandoned until 1982!
Google is not your friend, Linear Crack.
Old 06-20-2003, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by donkeyoatey
Google is not your friend, Linear Crack.
Got to agree with donkeyoatey that story is so obviously a fabrication that it's ridiculous and certainly wasn't true in any of the catholic churches I attended.
Old 06-20-2003, 02:20 AM
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I'd say the jury's still out on this phrase's origins. Word Wizard's discussion forum found no definite answer, except for this possible snippet of info:

Quote:
It goes back at least as far as 1836, in a quote saying "With their hair looking a thousand ways for Sunday." So there's no literal explanation, it's just a nicely evocative phrase.

Lots of variations, vague origin.
Old 06-20-2003, 02:24 AM
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Yeah, I realized that right away, too, Motog.
But what makes Linear's crack a lot more ironic is my quote is not only from the page he cited, it's the very next lines.
Old 06-20-2003, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by donkeyoatey
Google is not your friend, Linear Crack.
C'mon Google, lets get out of here. It's obvious we're not wanted around here.

*scurries back to the Pit*
Old 06-20-2003, 09:36 AM
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Judging from the date of the first usage and the context I would put forth the suggestion that this is a euphemistic construction of some earlier and less genteel phrase. Perhapse "Six ways from Hell." or "Six ways from the Devil", etc.

Sorry no evidence, just an idea.
Old 06-29-2003, 10:59 AM
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er, i've tried Google and all i come up with are asinine explanations like the one Linear Crack provided. 1982? interesting. nonsense, but interesting.

but thanks all. is there any way we can get Cecil in on this? i believe i've found something that just might stop him in his tracks.

but knowing Cecil, he kick my ass on this eight ways to Sunday.


- jetwrap
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