Fun Fact November 6, 2020.
6 November 2020
Our fun fact today won’t cost you an arm and leg. That’s a pretty hefty price, if you take it literally. One tale of it’s origin is from the world of art and a painter would charge according to how many people are in the painting, or for a single portrait, how many limbs of the person were painted. This explanation has no factual evidence. The actual origin of this idiom dates back to the Civil War when congress enacted a special pension for soldiers who had lost both an arm and a leg. The phrase “cost an arm and a leg” begins to show up in newspaper archives from 1901, referring to accidents and war injuries. That’s the literal sense, it cost the soldier an arm and a leg. In 1949, it shows up in the more figurative sense. The Long Beach Independent reported, “Food editor Beulah Karney has ideas for the homemaker who wants to say ‘Merry Christmas’ and not have it cost an arm and a leg.”