Etymology Day, Part Nine

Oh sports. There are so many different slang terms for each sport, I don’t know if I will ever understand them all. But watching the World Cup, I have found a fascinating new phrase that I want to work into my own vernacular: to be at sixes and sevens.

Unfortunately the only way I could work it in is if bad things are happening, so maybe it’s a good thing I had no idea what it meant.

“At Sixes and Sevens (“at 6’s and 7’s”) is an English phrase, describing a state of confusion or disarray. The origins of the word are a bit muddled, but the funniest one is the quarrel between the Merchant Taylors’ and the Skinners’ Livery companies. They have fought and been in a dissarray about who comes sixth in the order of precedence. I will give you a minute to click through that link, read all the awesome names in the order (HABERDASHERY FTW!)

Ahh, you’re back! Okay. So, as with quite a few crazy phrases, no one is for certained who coined the phrase as a phrase, but I like ridiculous quarrel stories.

p.s. Going back to the World Cup, haven’t the commentators been AMAZING? I want Ian Darke and Ally McCoist to commentate on everything!

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