Pillar to post.

At work the other day, someone described himself as having been "pushed from pillar to post", meaning he had been given the runaround a bit. It's an expression I haven't heard for some time, and I've never known what are the pillar and post in question. Were they any particular pillar and post? Any ideas?
16:57 Thu 22nd Sep 2005
 
Best Answer


No best answer has yet been selected by Allen Crisp. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.

1 to 4 of 4

i wonder if its to do with pinball machines?

though I expect its more likely to do with some old greek colluseum or something?

just a thought : )

According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, "the phrase was originally from post to pillar and comes from the old tennis courts in allusion to the banging about of the balls"

In German "von Pontius nach Pilatus." has the same general meaning as in English... to be sent from one place to another without achieving much.  Seems to have an early reference in  ca1420 Lydg. Assembly of Gods 1147 Thus fro poost to pylour he was made to daunce´┐Ż.

There are also references, as SeaJay suggests tor the very early game of court tennis...court tennis was certainly played in the thirteenth century and perhaps earlier.prior to the fifteenth century. One feature of the game lay in some form of volley which, at the time, was called 'from post to pillar,' apparently referring to a post that supported the net (though a rope was used in those days, rather than a net).the name of the volley passed into a common saying - always 'from post to pillar' until the sixteenth century when, the original allusion having been forgotten, it gradually became reversed to the present usage, 'from pillar to post.

Finally, Mordock & Korash's "Word Origins" says From Pillar to Post originated with the Puritans when they placed wrongdoers first in the pillory then the whipping post. So... apparently you can take your pick...

The correct answer is the third answer clanad has suggested.

1 to 4 of 4

Related Questions

someone I know bought a leather sofa on DFS. The salesperson advised my friend to pay more in order to be covered for stain damage (for 3 years), the promise apparently being "if you get any marks or...
Hi there. My son who is 21 has autism. He has been friends on Facebook with his old (recently retired) teacher for about 2 years now. I thought it was harmless and thought it was very nice that this...
Hi guys, I am new to this whole car thing and basically need your help. My relative has asked me to go half's on repairing a salvage car and then promises to give me half the profits when sold....
My Mum has been on waiting list for just over 16 months to have her cataracts removed and something with her macular degeneration done (?). At her appointment (some sort of pre-OP from what I can...
Service for 3 weeks. I phoned and cancelled, cancelled the direct debit and signed up with another company. After cancelling the DD they took out a further £53 claiming they did not receive notice of...

Latest posts