|Cut that out!|
The Cliff Clavin in me is always curious about where phrases like this come from! Answers.com says that the phrase Kick The Habit originated in the late 19th Century as a reference to withdrawals from opiate addiction. Back in the day you could get Opium, think predecessor to Heroin, and Laudanum, (think liquid opium) legally and easily from the local Chinatown or corner drugstore. Ah, the good ol' 1800's! So, for those of you not privy to withdrawal from Opium and Laudanum, myself included, thank God, when you're in the throws of withdrawal, your nervous system is all whacked out and you may have involuntary spasms and seizures which could result in you kicking. Now the word habit is something else entirely. Originally habit was used to refer to appearance or dress. Like a nun, she wears a habit. Now somewhere in the 1880's the word evolved from something you have "on" in the physical world to something emotionally driven. Like sipping laudanum or drinking whiskey. Victorian etiquette never likes to call a spade a spade. Plus, "addiction" as we know it today really wasn't used until the early 1900's so when you were addicted to something, people would say you have the "habit." Interesting, no? Especially when many people believe it is easier to get off the opiates than then cigarettes.
|What's your habit?|