The History Behind 20 Common Phrases

Monday, April 25, 2022

If you know me, you know I often have a lot to say about a lot of things.  I've found that I frequently use specific phrases that sometimes, taken literally, just don't make sense.  

Yet, whoever I say them to understands what I'm saying.  Take "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," for example.  I didn't gift anyone a horse.  We weren't even talking about horses, yet you know that I mean you shouldn't stick your nose up at someone doing something nice for you.  

I often find it funny how we as a society can use phrases like this, but we don't know where they came from.  They all started somewhere and became part of our modern lexicon somehow.  

On this website, I like to look back on how and where various things got their start.  So the other day when I used one of these common sayings, I thought it would be fun to discover the origin of some of the most commonly used phrases. 

Please click "Keep Reading" to find out all about The History Behind 20 Common Phrases.

Did You Know Pamela Anderson Was On Home Improvement?

Monday, April 18, 2022

In the 1990s, Pamela Anderson was everywhere.  She's most famous for starring in hit television shows like Baywatch, the cult-favorite movie Barb Wire, numerous Playboy appearances, and the infamous "tape" with her now ex-husband, Tommy Lee.  

It's been well documented here on YesterYear that I grew up loving the Tim Allen sitcom Home Improvement.  You can check out tributes I wrote to special holiday episodes by clicking the following links:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

A few years back, I watched reruns of our old favorite, and I noticed that Heidi the Tool Girl wasn't exactly... Heidi.  

Odd, I never noticed that before.  If I did, I was too young to notice or even care.  

It had been years since I rewatched the series, and now it stuck out like a sore thumb.  How could I not have noticed?  

As the episode went on, I realized her name was Lisa.  And Lisa looked awfully familiar, too. 

It was Pamela Anderson!  

How did I not know this?  I pride myself on knowing all sorts of trivia that will never win me anything but a pat on the back, but I have to admit, this escaped me.  I vaguely remembered the Tool Time assistant being different.  Come to think of it, during other watching of reruns over the years, I must have noticed then but not thought anything of it.

I didn't put two-and-two together until that day a few years back, and it's something that I've had a mild curiosity about since.  So, why not look back and see what we can find out about when Pamela Anderson was on Home Improvement!  

Commercials of YesterYear: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Sunday!  Sunday!  Sunday!

It's not very often that I hear the word "Sunday," and a television announcer's deep voice doesn't appear from the deep recesses of my brain to shout SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! 

I sometimes wonder, where is that from?  Did I once hear it as a child?  Where?  How often must I have since it lives so deep inside my brain?  I vaguely remember the constant "Big Foot" monster truck commercials when I was a kid, but I know I've since heard it in movies or television.  I'm not really a fan of monster trucks or drag races, so is that really where it came from?  Or was it just some goofy movie or TV show that caught on enough to enter the lexicon?  Did I make it up?  Is it even real?

The short answer is yes, the "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" catchphrase was a real thing!  It was initially said by Chicago area auto racing announcer Jan Gabriel in the late 1960s for the US-30 Drag Strip in Hobart, Indiana.  It found widespread use, often imitated or spoofed, during the monster truck craze of the 80s and 90s.     

US-30 Drag Strip in Hobart, Indiana

So, how did that catchphrase about Sunday catch on?  Why say it in the first place?  Who was Jan Gabriel?  

I have so many questions today, but that just means it's time for another deep dive into "Commercials of YesterYear" as we look back at the original use of the slogan "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!"

This Month In YesterYear History

Monday, April 4, 2022

Here's a fun new topic that I thought I'd try out for the site.  Based on a suggestion I saw on social media, I've decided to take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of pop culture from 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!    

Using film website Box Office Mojo, The Billboard Top 100 music list, and a conglomeration of television rating websites, I've pieced together a little time capsule of what was significant in life during those days.  I'd be happy to run it monthly if you folks like this topic.  As you know, I enjoy researching the past!  

Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses from the past, you'll remember the whens, wheres, and who's of your memories from that time period.  That's what this site is all about, after all!

So, get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back to 20, 25, and 30 years ago!