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A Sock in What?

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Hey, Camp Fans!

There’s such an abundance of phrases and old sayings that are so woven into our everyday speech that, often enough, we won’t even realize it when we’re using them. Old familiar sayings that are really entrenched in our are more specifically referred to as idioms or adages. And today we’re featuring the saying ‘Put a Sock in it’. When we tell someone to put a sock in it, what we mean to say at a certain level of volume and respect is “Be quiet.”

This time of year in the winter season, we’re all indoors at home a lot more often

than we are in other seasons and much more susceptible to being driven nuts by an annoying little brother or sister (or a big brother or sister…or, if you’re really unfortunate as I was, both). It’s important to keep a sense of civility with your siblings, but even the best of us have been known to break and shout out—


An interesting way to phrase a request that somebody shut up, ‘Put a Sock in it’ got its start in the early 1900s. Two theories have formed about the origin of this phrase:

The Gramophone Theory
The gramophone (the first record-playing device) was invented just a little over a decade before the turn of the century (1887 to be exact). It was supposed that people would stuff a sock into the horn to decrease the volume as there was no volume control dial provided on these early record players.

Just Soldier Talk
The origin of ‘Put a Sock in it’ is much more likely to come from the trenches of World War I around 1915, when soldiers would alert one another to stop talking. Along with socks, soldiers would also suggest each other put a cork in it as well as a bung (an old device for sealing containers).

I myself like the gramophone theory better, but the records seem to point to the soldiers of World War I being the true origin. In any case, use this phrase sparingly as it’s not the nicest thing to say. Socks are meant for feet and not for stuffing (unless it’s Christmas Eve). Check out our selection of snug socks when you click right here and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Posted in Adage Origin


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