Don’t Cry Uncle!

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Don’t Cry Uncle!

WinterAccording to the Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, to cry (or say) uncle means to admit defeat and/or plead for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind.

It’s cited as an American phrase that came about in the early 1900’s attributed to bullying on the playground; however, there are also two other theories as to its true origin: Ancient Rome and 19th Century England.

The Roman theory suggests children who were in the throes of battle with a childhood bully were commanded to say “Patrue, mi Patruissimo” or “Uncle, my best Uncle” in order to be freed.  Uncles at that time were given the same level of respect and regard as fathers were, and therefore the cry “uncle” was a way for the victim to grant the victor high status.  The English theory states that it came from a joke regarding a parrot being coaxed into addressing his owner’s uncle.

The anxiety caused by the fear of public speaking can certainly leave you feeling the need to CRY UNCLE!  It doesn’t have to be this way. We can help! Did you know there are energy techniques, mindset techniques, and practice strategies which can ease or eliminate your anxiety?  Contact us at Accent On Business today to find out more.

Wilton, Dave (2007-03-11). “say uncle”. Wordorigins.
Say (or cry) uncle, World Wide Words
Safire, William (2011-11-16). “Uncle cries “Uncle””. Language Maven Strikes Again. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

 

About the Author:

Ellen Dunnigan founded Accent On Business in 2001 specializing in public speaking, communication skills, and executive presence for leaders in business. She has 25 years of experience with professional and nonprofessional speakers in healthcare, media, politics, engineering, sports, and other industries. Ellen’s coaching in speaking skills gives established and emerging leaders greater confidence and credibility. Her leadership programs in accountability, alignment, difficult conversations, and organizational communication have helped leaders expand their influence. Ellen is known for her practical “how to” style.
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