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Apex of Pedantry

Unless you are using Port tongs (which I suspect is the origin of the idiom)

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From it’s C16 origin I would guess the expression comes from a similarity to the way you opened a letter by ‘cracking’ the wax seal, since wax was also a common method to protect the stoppers on bottles at that time.

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A couple of online sources (quite possibly based on the same research) say the first known citation is 1773 in H. Kelly’s School for Wives (1773): “When shall we crack a bottle together?”

Port tongs were first used in the 18th century, which nicely ties in with the 1773 date, but if you can show evidence for its use in 16th century that blows my theory out of the water.

I notice the BBC news reader now refers to “my colleague” when cutting to a segment……grr.

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Maybe we should all just synergise and move the goal posts and define what good looks like.

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Good thinking. We could develop our individual and team resilience while we’re at it too.

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I knew it. You’re one of my senior management “team”.

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We’ll 360 on this in the morning.

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I’m comfortable with all the above!

Lets fly it up the flagpole and see who salutes.

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Ahhh. that word ‘team’ it so reminds me why I went freelance a dozen years ago.

Infighting between ‘managers’ desperately deflecting from their failings - somehow never received that bonus. And were continually sacked.
Directors who were WAY above their level of competence, would throw anyone under a bus, yet extracted a maximum bonus whatever the financial situation of the firm.
Juniors who were happy to be employed but discontent at the lack of pay rise no matter how hard they worked - and moved on whenever they could.

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I got it from where I usually start: Etymonline and haven’t dug deeper. However, I’m not sure it matters as wax was still in use as described in the 18th AFAIK and while I like the port tongs idea I find a more common occurrence (cf. opening letters) more plausible.

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I think you might have won. Not sure I understand though.

Curiously I don’t object to “360” as a verb. It seems to be a perfect description of process in which everyone involved ends up exactly where they started…

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Let’s take this offline.

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Indeed. I did not mean fo imply that an 18th century earliest-known reference ruled out the wax explanation.

I think your source may have in mind this, from the OED:

To be honest, I’m not sure any of these (including “my” 1773 one) are the same as cracking open a bottle. In fact, even in the 17th century, they didn’t bottle wine in the sense we know it. Something else I found in someone’s annotation of Pepys’ Diary:

But again, none of this affects the wax theory

I suppose that these days people are more likely to crack (open) a bottle because that is precisely the sound a screwcap makes. Plenty of scope for reverse etymology here!

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I don’t think this is getting the traction it deserves. We’ll need to engage the key stakeholders. I’ll see if I can leverage the interface committee and get back to you.

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More sky blue thinking required I’m afraid :thinking:

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Common work-related issue for me are people who dismiss my argument as “a moot point” when they mean it’s not relevant. To which I’m forced to raise the question about whether we’ll first discuss my argument’s relevance or the relevance of it being relevant.

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