Bonus Trivia

Why does something annoying “rub you the wrong way”?

It would be tempting to guess that this has something to do with genies and magic lamps. Rub the lamp the wrong way and maybe an angry genie makes you walk backwards for the rest of your life.  But no, the source is much more humdrum. In fact, it’s as dreary as housework and involves maids who were in a muddle about how to mop a floor. Several hundred years ago upper class housewives had servant problems. It seems that some of the hired help just didn’t understand how to mop up after wet-rubbing a wooden floor. They mopped against the grain, rubbing it the wrong way and leaving streaks. This must have been truly traumatic because the expression gradually came to mean the way anything annoying affects us.


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