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Caught you red handed! Where did this idiom come from? For the answer we have to go back to 15th century Scotland. According the Yahoo dot com, The phrase, at least then, referred to being caught with blood on your hands, either from murder or poaching. The first recorded instance of someone referring as having a “red hand” comes from “The Scottish Acts of Parliament of James I” in 1432. The term as known today, that being “red-handed” can be found in Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” from 1820. The idiom has not changed in meaning since first being used, in other words, if you are caught red handed you’ve been caught in the act of doing something you aren’t supposed to be doing, like stealing a cookie. You know, being caught with your hand in the cookie jar.
Today’s fun fact presented lock, stock and barrel. That term was first recorded in 1871 in writings by Sir Walter Scot, although it is believed to have been used in England prior to that. It basically means everything you need, all the parts or information necessary. The reference is, of course, to a weapon, in particular a flint lock musket. The lock is what ignites the powder, the stock is the wooden part that allows you to shoulder and aim the musket and of course the barrel is what directs the projectile. That’s the whole enchilada about lock, stock and barrel. Hopefully you took it hook, line and sinker.