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How trusting are you?

door reconciliationEarlier today my friends and I were discussing whether we would tackle a particularly difficult job in the garden ourselves or wait for the expensive professionals. Mick says: "Sure let's chance our arm and try it ourselves." I was reminded of the origins of the  phrase "to chance one's arm".

The story is that in the 15th cent. there was an on-going feud between two prominant Norman families in Ireland - the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds. On one occasion Earl James Butler and his men holed up in the Chapter Room of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. Fitzgerald stood outside the Chapter Room door and in an effort to end the bloodshed decided to make peace. To prove his good intentions and honour he ordered his men to cut a hole in the door and 'chanced his arm' by bravely thrusting it through the hole to extend the hand of friendship. Butler accepted the gesture of reconciliation and the long feud was ended. Fitzgerald's 'chancing his arm' had paid off.

The door with the hole in it is still pointed out to visitors to St. Patrick's Cathedral.


Compared to that any possible negative outcome in the garden should be quite acceptable.
I'm not that trusting. Thinking about it I'm not very trusting at all. I make sure that whatever I'm losing I won't miss too much before I get involved at all.
At least he didn't then have to bring an end to the feud "single-handedly..."
I like it!

Oh, phrases origin! Interesting!

Thanks for education. I didn't know that facts.
It's a very good story, especially for our untrusty cruel dark ages.
i love the origin of phrases - thank you!