No doubt that inscription was there first, but I originally heard that phrase mentioned on "The Honeymooners" television series from the '50s with Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, who was a sewer worker!
I had originally thought the saying Biblical in origin (Ecclesiastes or some such), but a bit of research shows Chaucer first wrote it down. It might, however, have an earlier oral origin.
Oh, and it's in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, which takes place in a pub in Southwark.
Or was this a subtle reminder that Mary was no man?
Cool bit of detective work Carol Anne! Someday I must read the Canterbury Tales. Not today and probably not tomorrow, but some other day.....
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