People often write requesting the meaning and/or origin of a proverb, adage or saying.
Therefore I have commenced recording the items that have been the subject of questions, the results can be seen on the Definition of a Proverbs page.
September 2014 - The "Save the Proverbs" site was commenced in about 1999 and just grew. Today I am receiving proverbs of which I have not heard and can not locate a meaning. I need yout assistance to provide the meanings.Please email me at if you can assist.
Below are proverbs that I have received and need assistance from you to solve.
The first four were all received in the one email.
Won't have a bar of - Received about 2010.
I have not been able to locate an origin for the saying "won't have a bar of" such as "They won't have a bar of it".
The only bar I can think of, that may relate, is a bar of gold. Thus a treasure chest, perhaps it comes from pirates who would not even give one bar of gold.
A visitor suggests:- It has legal connotations. It could be equal to "won't give any hearing / won't hear of it."
12 April 2011 received an email from Amy, it seems to be the best solution yet.
"Probably has something to do with a bar of a song . . . i.e., doesn't want to hear any of it!
3 Jan 2012 received an email from David. I think the expression "won't have a bar of it," refers to music: They can't stand to hear even a bar of that song. HAVE is sometimes used to mean HEAR, esp. in BritSpeech. For instance, "Let's have a little of that song you always give us when you're drunk."
30 November 2015 received an email from Anthony. We also don’t know the origin of the expression but have two theories.
Our favourite, since the origin is New Zealand and Australia and there were several gold rushes here, is that this is ‘won’t have a bar of [fools] gold’ relating to people collecting valueless minerals rather than gold.
The second even less substantiated idea is that it since the meaning is about disgust and zero tolerance for something is whether some returned servicemen from the many wars (Boer, WW1 etc) refused military decorations and therefore ‘would not have a bar’.Email me, please.
This started me searching Google for an answer as I had not heard the saying before. Which led me to many sayings about 'fence posts'. Once again the rural aspect of old sayings rears it's head. There are an amazingly large number of 'fence post' saying so I decided to list a few.
If you have another fence post saying please email me.
I have been receiving requests for missing words. Must be some new game on the Internet. The following are some of the requests.
See Using Search Engines for more examples.