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The Origin of Thumbs Up is in Beer?

June 29, 2010

According to Stanley Strong’s book from 1951 ‘Romance of Brewing.’ It originated in the 18th century. Here is the passage from the book:

There is an amusing story in connection with the service of beer at dinner. The strong Octobers were not considered quite suitable for ladies ; but, this notwithstanding, there were ladies who held other views. If, therefore, a lady wished a strong, when the butler came round she unobtrusively turned up her thumb. This is believed to be the origin of the familiar remark : ” Thumb’s up” !

Quite the claim considering the popularity and use of the thumbs up gesture. What I do know is that the origin is not from Roman gladiators belts as people like to regurgitate. I would like to ask Mr. Strong how he came to make this claim, sadly as the book was printed in 1951 I have a feeling he has since passed on.

What do you think?


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