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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Origins and Meaning of "From Whistle to well"

    What is the origin and meaning of the expression "... from whistle to well?" Thanks!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Origins and Meaning of "From Whistle to well"

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonmb View Post
    What is the origin and meaning of the expression "... from whistle to well?" Thanks!
    Which context do you want to clarify - Louis L'Amour or the other rather more dubious web references?


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: Origins and Meaning of "From Whistle to well"

    The expression seems to convey the idea of completeness - as in "Soup to Nuts," which might originally have meant everything to complete a meal but eventually took on a broader meaning of "all-encompassing." I don't know where "Whistle to Well" comes from, nor do I know to what "whistle" or "well" refers. You mentioned Louis L'Amour. Does this expression occur in his books (I admit I have read none of his work)? Is there another, older usage from which he draws? Thanks!

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: Origins and Meaning of "From Whistle to well"

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonmb View Post
    ... a broader meaning of "all-encompassing."
    I think you have it. I can't find anything on its origin either, but what I can tell you, given the Louis L'amour quote cited here:
    L'Amour often claimed to be buildin' an 1865 Western (tourist) town named Shalako,“historically authentic from whistle to well.”
    is that whistle is probably in reference to a railroad whistle stop at which trains stopped only if the engineer hears a signal from the town's station (Source: Online Etymology Dictionary)

    As for well, well, it's self-explanatory: the town's well.

    Does that help?


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #5

    Smile Re: Origins and Meaning of "From Whistle to well"

    Certainly the best explanation I have heard so far. I will keep my eyes open and if I gain further insight will share same. Thank you!

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #6

    Re: Origins and Meaning of "From Whistle to well"

    That'd be great. Thanx, and you're most welcome.

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