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where did the saying rod for your own back orginate from?

(13 Posts)
pregnantbabyelephant Mon 26-Nov-07 09:35:52

anyone know?

3andnomore Mon 26-Nov-07 14:11:47

not sure if this is of any help

SweetSnowflake Mon 26-Nov-07 14:13:49

dont know but i alsways thought of it as meaning 'there was no room for manouvere' you did it one way and you were stuk with it?..but what do i know!

ComeOVeneer Mon 26-Nov-07 14:17:05

I belive it stems from the victorian era where children had rods strapped to there back in order to improve posture, and it being uncomfortable and thus them suffering. So to do it to yourself would be to cause yourself unecessary suffering.

Boco Mon 26-Nov-07 14:17:11

It comes from the well known comedian and emu lover, Rod Hull, who was famous for leaping onto people's backs, which really held them up and made getting things done quite difficult. Hence if you make things difficult for yourself, it's like having a Rod for your own back. I can't prove it but it is scientific fact.

MrsBadger Mon 26-Nov-07 14:21:35

I think it's more likely a rod for being beaten with rather than the posture thing (which was usually a board not a rod anyway)

cf 'spare the rod and spoil the child' 'rule with a rod of iron' 'using it as a rod to beat her with' etc.

Boco Mon 26-Nov-07 14:35:02

I don't know, that doesn't seem very likely to me.

3andnomore Mon 26-Nov-07 14:48:03

This is what it says on this website

Making a rod for your own back.
I believe the phrase comes from the good old Victorians. In those years deportment was very important and a straight back fundamental. So a rod or board would be strapped to the back to encourage the miscreant suffer for his own doings.

MrsBadger Mon 26-Nov-07 14:55:11

still think the deportment angle is specious

3andnomore Mon 26-Nov-07 14:59:45

Proverb 26:3
26:3: A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

Looks like it's from the Bible

pregnantbabyelephant Mon 26-Nov-07 23:07:09

oh interesting the bible and the victorians

RobPulver Tue 04-Feb-14 17:52:57

A very likely source would could possibly be from another part of the Bible;

Proverbs 10:13 - Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.

So making a rod for your own back would be another way of saying that you may have shown bad judgement and will be in need of a rod

OlBob Mon 23-Nov-15 12:34:24

Whips...bridles...rods... Oooh, kinky!

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