On/Off the Wagon

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Definition:

On: no longer drinking
Off: still drinking

Description:

When the mob was running moonshine, it was required that the drivers not drink alcohol.

So, when one is On the wagon, one is not supposed to drink alcohol.

Source:

origin unknown

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  • The origin of on the wagon becomes clearer in its early forms: “on the water cart.” Horse-drawn water carts were used during the late 19th century in a period of active crusading, with women–and a few men–campaigning fervently for Prohibition on a national scale. They hoped to eliminate or reduce domestic abuse by encouraging sobriety in husbands and fathers.

    During this period, many of the men who pledged to stop drinking couched their vows in terms that said that no matter how much they longed for a strong drink, they would climb aboard a water cart to quench their thirst rather than break their vow. I’m “on the water cart” came to mean “No, thank you; I’m not drinking any more” or “I’m trying to stop.”

    Source:
    http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20001215

  • The origin of on the wagon becomes clearer in its early forms: “on the water cart.” Horse-drawn water carts were used during the late 19th century in a period of active crusading, with women–and a few men–campaigning fervently for Prohibition on a national scale. They hoped to eliminate or reduce domestic abuse by encouraging sobriety in husbands and fathers.

    During this period, many of the men who pledged to stop drinking couched their vows in terms that said that no matter how much they longed for a strong drink, they would climb aboard a water cart to quench their thirst rather than break their vow. I'm “on the water cart” came to mean “No, thank you; I'm not drinking any more” or “I'm trying to stop.”

    Source:
    http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?dat