Sunday Snippet – A Snip at Half The Price

Does the phrase ‘cheap at half the price’ mean anything to you? Perhaps not, if English isn’t your first language. Maybe it’s even an outdated expression and, if you are young, you may not use it.

It’s a phrase that my father used frequently and I remember, as a child, thinking it was a very strange thing to say. In the title of this post I have possibly confused you even more by replacing the word ‘cheap’ with the words ‘a snip’.

So, let me explain. If you search for the origins of ‘cheap at half the price’ you will find conflicting opinions but I rather like this one from Your Dictionary.

Cheap at half the price” is the original and correct version of the saying. In Middle English, cheap, or “cheep” also meant goods or property, so the street cry, “Cheap at half the price!”, was the Middle Ages’ equivalent of today’s shop window sign, “All stock 50% off”. Chaucer uses this meaning in, “…greet cheep is holde at litel pris…”. That is to say, where there is an abundance, “greet cheep” = great supply of goods, the price is low “..holde at litel price” = is valued at a low price. Possibly the earliest reference to supply and demand! The corruption, “Cheap at twice the price” would have appeared through a misunderstanding of the original meaning of “cheep”.

However, I have used the words ‘a snip’ which, when used in this context, is generally understood to mean something acquired for a low price, but also means to cut with scissors.

So, what was it that I acquired this week for ‘A Snip at Half The Price’?

A haircut, I had a haircut!

This is the first time I have needed to have my hair cut while away from home which is why I consider it worthy of a mention. I had no idea where to go. At home I have a hairdresser who comes out to my house, so even going to a salon was a long forgotten experience for me.

I looked on Google maps. Where would we be without Google maps? Lost, I expect.

Anyway, I discovered that there is a hairdressing salon just round the corner so I popped in on Friday to see if I could make an appointment. I had already looked up a translation of my request on Google Translate (good old Google) but found myself miming instead, I’m getting quite good at mime.

No problem. The lady indicated that I could have it done straight away and showed me the price on the board. I do actually know the phrase for ‘how much does it cost’ so that came in handy.

It cost the princely sum of €15. Princely sum is another humorous way of saying something is inexpensive, I’m beginning to think we speak in riddles where I come from!

I must say, I enjoyed the experience. When my hairdresser comes to my house I wash my own hair so it was very relaxing having someone do it for me and I’m happy with the cut.

And no, I’m not doing a selfie because it’s a very rare selfie that I am happy with; suffice to say, it is short, very short.

So that’s my Sunday Snippet for this week. A quick and easy read to allow you time to catch up with post that you may have missed. I hope you can sit back, relax with a cuppa, and enjoy a read, you will find my previous posts below. My favourite one this week is “All The World’s A Stage And I’m Treading The Boards Alone” so, if you only read one that’s the one I recommend.

Enjoyed this? You can read more here

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