Friday, March 3, 2017

Common Expressions and their Origins, No. 11: Rub The Wrong Way

part of an oak-board floor


Meaning: To irritate, bother, or annoy someone


History: In colonial America, servants were required to wet-rub and dry-rub the oak-board floors each week. Doing it against the grain caused streaks to form, making the wood look awful and irritating the homeowner.

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