When I was young, I remember my Aunt Martha using the phrase: “It’s the bee’s knees.” Of course, I never actually understood what she was saying only that whatever she was talking about must be pretty grand. Whenever some new fashion came out, she would say, “Well, that’s just the ‘bee’s knees.'” I finally looked the phrase up today and here is what I found: “Bees carry pollen from flower-to-flower in sacs in their back legs. Therefore, the words ‘the bee’s knees’ mean the height of excellence. The term became popular in the U.S. in the 1920’s along with other phrases like ‘the cat’s whiskers’ (possibly from the use of these in radio crystal sets), and ‘the cat’s pajamas’ or the ‘cat’s meow.’
Absolutely none of the young people I know today say, “It’s the cat’s meow” or anything close to this. In fact, most say, “Whatever,” which always leaves me wondering whatever happened to silly phrases like the ones listed above.
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