Posted by: episystechpubs | July 12, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

A few weeks ago, someone asked me about some of the idiomatic phrases she’s heard and where they come from. The particular example was “butter (you/me/we) up.” I have tried to find the origin, but to no avail. Most of my resources just define the phrase, but don’t provide any (believable) explanation. I did stumble across a site that offers explanations for some phrases. Follow me in my time machine to this article from listverse:

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride
This phrase, surprisingly, was used to sell Listerine mouthwash! To promote their product, the manufacturers of Listerine employed the personal experience of girls at the time, who desperately wanted to settle down but seemed always to be left on the shelf. First used in the 1920s, it portrays a situation and a possible explanation for the lack of success these girls had. Here is the transcript of the ad:
Poor Edna was getting on for thirty and most of her girlfriends were either already married, or about to tie the knot. How she wished that, instead of being their bridesmaid, she could be the bride! However, any romance of hers invariably ended quickly. There was a reason. Unbeknownst to her, she suffered from bad breath and no one would tell her, not even her closest friends. The advertisement sold millions of bottles of mouthwash and also gave the English language a new saying!

Article and graphic from: listverse

Kara Church
Senior Technical Editor

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