Tony Wootton and Gwen Zanzottera give us an interesting explanation on how “Pop Goes the Weasel” came into being. Get a copy of “By Hook or by Crook” and you have many more stories how many of the British sayings originate.
“Pop Goes the Weasel”
In the last century there was a children’s song which went ‘Up and down the City Road, in and out of the Eagle, that’s the way money goes, pop goes the weasel’. It had nothing to do with animals, particularly as it was set in London.
A weasel was the tool which hatters used and as many of them worked near the City Road, when they needed money (especially for drink at the Eagle pub in the City Road), they would ‘pop’ or pawn the weasel in the nearest pawnbrokers.
Do you know how the phrase is commonly used? I do not.
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