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Where does the expression cotton on come from?

What’s the origin of the phraseCotton on’?

As early as 1648, in a pamphlet titled Mercurius Elencticus, mocking the English parliament, the royalist soldier and poet Sir George Wharton used ‘cotton‘, or as it was spelled then ‘cotten’, as a verb meaning ‘to make friendly advances’.


Also asked, where did the term cotton come from?

To “cotton to” is an idiom born of the cotton industry, meaning to get to know or understand something. In the textile industry, when a fiber cottons, it does a good job of blending in with other fibers to make cloth. Example using the idiom: I don’t recon that boy cottons likely to strangers.

Secondly, where did the phrase I don’t cotton to that come from? I Don’t Cotton To. A listener from Dallas wonders about the origin of “I don’t cotton to,” meaning “I’m not in favor of” or “I don’t get along with.” Though it sounds like a classic Southern phrase, Martha traces it all the way back to England, where the verb to cotton had to do with textile work.

Similarly, what does cotton on mean?

cotton on. phrasal verb. If you cotton on to something, you understand it or realize it, especially without people telling you about it.

What does fairly middling mean?

Mediocre, pretty good, so-so, as in I asked them how they liked their new home and John answered, “Fair to middling. This phrase, often a reply to an inquiry about one’s health, business, or the like, is redundant, since fair and middling both mean “moderately good.” [Mid-1800s] Also see can’t complain.


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