So are you impressed with our onion harvest? These beauties were sown from seed, planted out in the spring and, when the tops started to fall over, were dug up, and dried out in the greenhouse before being tied and strung-up in the shed until needed.
Naturally, such successful endeavour is all down to knowing your onions ... but where does that phrase come from?
Some believe it comes from a man called S.G.Onions who worked within the numismatic industry (i.e. coins or medals). From 1843 Mr Onions produced fake coins for English schools in order to help teach children about money. If they learnt about money they would know their onions.
However, there is also the English grammarian and lexicographer Mr C. T. Onions who was an editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1895 and continued to write reference works throughout a long and distinguished career, so it makes some sense to use his surname relating to knowledge and academia.
The first print appearance of “know your onions” didn’t occur until March 1922s in Harper's Magazine: 'Mr. Roberts knows his onions, all right." This phrase was one variant of others such as 'know your oil/oats/apples' etc, Onions just caught on I suppose!
However, onions is possibly short for rhyming slang onionrings, meaning ‘things’.... and the phrase fundamentally just means 'knowing things'.