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    #1

    meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    Dear teachers~!
    A text says 'mind your p's and q's' means 'pay up'.
    but another text says it means 'watch your mouth'
    what is the right meaning?
    both of them are right?

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    Mind your p's and q's means mind your manners, which could mean watch what you say.


  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    Quote Originally Posted by falling slowly View Post
    Dear teachers~!
    A text says 'mind your p's and q's' means 'pay up'.
    but another text says it means 'watch your mouth'
    what is the right meaning?
    both of them are right?
    I think it's an old British English expression, mind your p's (please) and q's (thankyou's). In other words, be polite.

  3. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    One possible explanation: It is advice to children learning to write to take care not to mix up the lower-case letters p and q.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    One possible explanation: It is advice to children learning to write to take care not to mix up the lower-case letters p and q.
    I've always taken this to mean "be careful; don't mess up" rather than any moral meaning.
    I believe it was derived from earlier times when printers had to stack lead print letters into racks - it was easy to mix up p's and q's because they had to put them in backwards." It still means (metaphorically) the same thing.

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    #6

    Re: meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    That's the most convincing version I've heard too. It's always struck me that the 'please/thank yous' one was probably invented by Victorian governesses! (Governess - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    b

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: meaning of 'mind your p's and q's'?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That's the most convincing version I've heard too. It's always struck me that the 'please/thank yous' one was probably invented by Victorian governesses! (Governess - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    b
    Yes, you could be right there.

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