Meanings and Origins of Phrases

From Phrases.org. Here’s an example of what you’ll find on the site.

As dead as a door-nail

Meaning

Dead – devoid of life (when applied to people, plants or animals). Finished with – unusable (when applied to inanimate objects).

Origin
This is old – at least 14th century. There’s a reference to it in print in 1350:

“For but ich haue bote of mi bale I am ded as dorenail.”

Shakespeare used it in King Henry VI, 1590:

As ‘X’ as ‘Y’ similes refer to some property and then give an example of something well-known as exhibiting that property, e.g. ‘as white as snow’. Why door-nails are cited as a particular example of deadness isn’t clear. Door-nails are the large-headed studs that were used in earlier times for strength and more recently as decoration. The practice was to hammer the nail through and then bend over the protruding end to secure it. This process, similar to riveting, was called clenching. This may be the source of the ‘deadness’, as such a nail would be unusable afterwards.

Larry Craig Accepting Applications for Summer Interns

Intern candidates should enjoy movies about gladiators:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senator Larry Craig is currently seeking intern applications for the summer term, which runs from May to August. The application deadline is March 15, however if more time is needed for the application process, please contact Senator Craig’s office for an extension. Craig offers paid internships within the Washington, D.C., office. Preference is given to Idaho applicants attending Idaho schools who are in their junior or senior years of college (including graduating seniors).

‘”Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional office,” said Craig. “They participate in the legislative process as well as ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho.”

Clever Hans

From Wikipedia:

Clever Hans (in German, der Kluge Hans) was a horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks.

After formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the reaction of his human observers. Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein the horse was responding directly to involuntary cues in the body language of the human trainer, who had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such cues.

In honour of Pfungst’s study, the anomalous artifact has since been referred to as the Clever Hans effect and has continued to be important knowledge in the observer-expectancy effect and later studies in animal cognition.