A few days ago I was reading an article for work and I came across the phrase “nip it in the bud”. I glanced over it fast and assumed that the saying had been edited so that it was more appropriate since it was a professional article. However, the phrase stuck in my head and when I got home I decided to Google it.
To my surprise, it was in fact the right saying. For my whole life I always thought the phrase was “nip it in the butt”. I Googled this phrase as well and was made aware that this is a common “misspelling” of the phrase. The thing is, I didnt just misspell it. I had a whole theory behind why it made sense.
The original phrase comes from gardening. The phrase means to put a stop to something early in development. According to Phrase Finder, “This phrase derives from the de-budding of plants. The earlier form of the phrase was ‘nip in the bloom’ and this is cited in Henry Chettle’s romance Piers Plainnes Seaven Yeres Prentiship, 1595.”
My version has the same intent but with a little twist. I thought the saying was more of a scare tactic. Basically if you don’t cut out the behavior that you are doing you will get nipped (bit, pinched,ect) in the butt. This was pretty powerful for me growing up. My mom would always tell me that something needed to be nipped in the “butt” (or at least that’s what I thought she said) and I would always imagine getting pinched hard in the butt or something and I would cut out whatever I was doing.
The phrase does make more sense now that I know what it is but I do have a soft spot for my version. Maybe I will use them both whenever I see fit. Why not? Who would notice?
So bloggers, which version of the phrase do you use? Did you have it right?