[Northkeep] historical fact

david langston wynfrith at yahoo.com
Wed May 8 23:07:13 PDT 2002

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]

*** Today's Useless Fact ***

Why do we refer to kids as "small fry?"

This phrase, often used affectionately, presents quite
an image when you think about it. Of course, it could
be worse. You're not suggesting we envision them boiled
in oil, just dipped in some fat and quick-heated over a
high flame.

Food is often used to suggest something diminutive. For
example, we might say that something is "peanuts"
or "small potatoes." And "fry," in another context,
describes small fish that are eaten fried. But in this
context, it's got nothing to do with fish. In fact,
it's not connected to food of any kind. This fry comes
from the Old Norse word "frjo," which means kids. It's
that simple.

Small fry, then, is redundant, since children tend to
be small in the first place. But since you always have
to tell them at least twice to do anything...

Wynfrith whoisfullofuselesstrivia

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